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COVID-19 cases rise in Istanbul and Bursa, Koca says

Turkey’s health minister said on Friday there has been rises in COVID-19 infections in the Turkish metropolitan city of Istanbul and northwestern Bursa province.

Speaking at a news conference following his meeting with local officials in the eastern province of Erzurum, Fahrettin Koca said that although there has been a significant drop in the last few weeks, there is a rising trend in infections across the country, particularly in Istanbul and Bursa, over the past week.

“We have been fighting day and night against the coronavirus pandemic for seven months. Unlike many countries in the world, we have maintained our resilience to this disaster, thanks to our strong health infrastructure, qualified and devoted healthcare professionals, and strong public resources,” he said.

Referring to healthcare systems of the developed countries, he explained how from time to time their systems were not sufficient.

“But we were able to supply all kinds of masks, medicine, and respirators through our local manufacturers since the first day [of the outbreak]. As we met our needs within the country, we [also] gave a helping hand to more than 150 countries in these troubled days,” he added.

Turkey, through renewed and expanded capacities, particularly in city hospitals, met the needs of the public during the pandemic period, Koca noted, adding that the country, unlike in hospitals of many countries, did not witness upsetting scenes at the healthcare centers and hospitals.

Koca stressed that all positive cases, whether they show symptoms or not, as well as their close contacts, are recorded in the risk group and registered in the [mobile] HES application.

He added that screening of contacts in Turkey takes an average of six to seven hours.

Turkey registered 1,693 more coronavirus patients and 1,311 new recoveries from Wednesday, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The country’s patient count stood at 342,143, with recoveries totaling 299,679, according to the most recent official data.

Some 116,103 more coronavirus tests were conducted, raising the total to over 12 million by Thursday. The death toll from the virus reached 9,080, as 66 more patients died.

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