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Turkey is on high alert amid COVID-19 pandemic

Turkey is on high alert amid COVID-19 pandemic

Turkey is on high alert as mutated strains of the coronavirus push countries around the world to apply additional measures to protect their populations.

Professor Hasan Tezer, a member of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, said that some 400 people in the country were infected with new virus variants, and there were “variants peculiar to Turkey” as well. “We have South Africa, United Kingdom variants. We have variants exclusive to our country, but it is not clear yet how those will affect the outbreak,” he told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Sunday. Tezer said that the studies into the new variants were ongoing and urged caution against a potential surge in the outbreak in the coming months.

Although the country managed to curb the number of daily cases, the figure still fluctuates around 7,000 cases a day. Daily fatalities, meanwhile, dropped below 100 the past week. Ups and downs in daily cases are linked to virus variants as well as increased mobility during the school midterm break.

Tezer warned that the variants would sweep Europe by the end of April and pose an increased risk to the world. “We know that U.K. variant can cling to cells easily and can spread easier. South Africa and Brazil variants differ from it, and they have additional mutations. These variants had the body achieve a neutralization in antibodies to the desired level, even if you are vaccinated or had a slight case of COVID-19. This means that you can relapse into the disease even after inoculation or a previous case of coronavirus,” he said. The only way to stave off the new variants is to abide by the measures that have been set in place since the start of the outbreak, Tezer says. “Along with a fast vaccination, we need to adhere to strict rules like wearing protective masks, social distancing and hygiene,” he urged.