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Turkey plans no lockdowns in new COVID-19 period: health minister

Turkey plans no lockdowns in new COVID-19 period: health minister

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca stated Tuesday that Turkey does not intend to implement any further lockdowns or closures to manage the pandemic’s reach, instead placing “great importance on individual precautions … particularly vaccinations,” as he answered questions from the press after the Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex.

Europe is on the verge of another shutdown with many countries already announcing new lockdown measures. When asked about whether new restrictions and measures were on the agenda in Turkey, Koca stated that no such steps were planned.

“In the new period in Turkey, we do not plan to manage the pandemic with closures. In the new period, we attach great importance to personal precautions and especially vaccination,” Koca said and added: “We think that it is very important for everyone to be vaccinated.”

When asked about the progress of the antiviral pill, molnupiravir, which is set to be used to treat COVID-19 patients, Koca noted that many drugs were used during the pandemic and that their efficacies would become clearer with time.

The minister said that there were many studies pointing to the efficacy of molnupiravir and that Turkey was determined to introduce the drug to citizens as early as possible.

Koca stated that they had received license applications to produce molnupiravir locally in Turkey. “We aim to make molnupiravir available to our citizens in the earliest possible period by employing competition, and by producing it at lowest price possible. This will not take too long.”