As Turkey sees another peak in the first wave of coronavirus cases, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca assuaged concerns but urged strict adherence to the rules. Koca said at a news conference Friday that nationwide measures and regular inspections to ensure compliance with these rules helped Turkey bring the “speed of the outbreak” under control in the last week. He stressed, however, that “this should never, ever lead us to end the vigilance.”
“We have been fighting the coronavirus pandemic for six months now. The obvious drop in cases during times of full compliance with rules was unfortunately not sustainable. Neglecting the disease, not obeying rules of hygiene, masks and social distancing, drove us to an undesired stage in the outbreak,” Koca lamented.
The minister was speaking in the northern province of Samsun, the latest stopover on his weekly tours across the country to see the impact of the pandemic firsthand. “Samsun is a growing, developing province, and in parallel with this growth, its need for health care grows,” Koca told reporters.
Turkey on Thursday reported 1,721 new COVID-19 cases and 74 deaths from the previous 24 hours. The new cases were found in more than 110,000 coronavirus tests, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 309,790, according to the Health Ministry. With Thursday’s fatalities, the death toll from COVID-19 since the outbreak began in Turkey has increased to 7,785. Meanwhile, the total number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 increased to 271,964, with 1,241 patients declared free of the coronavirus in the past day.
Koca said Friday that the number of patients and deaths started rising again and this was the case around the globe as well. But he added that although rises were evident in some provinces, others managed to bring the outbreak under control thanks to tight measures and “sensible citizens.”