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COVID-19 infections drop in Türkiye

COVID-19 infections drop in Türkiye

The latest data on the coronavirus pandemic in Türkiye for the period from 1 to 7 August was released by the Ministry of Health.
While the number of cases almost halved, dropping to 232,253 from 406,322 in the week between July 25 and Aug. 1., the number of fatalities nevertheless rose to 380 from 337.

The number of cases since the first case was reported in March 2020 exceeded 16.5 million with the latest figures while the number of deaths reached 100,058.

Türkiye staved off the worst of the pandemic in the past few months after grappling with new highs in the number of daily cases. Experts tie the decline in coronavirus cases to the less severe omicron strain, which contributed to a drop in hospitalizations. A vaccination drive, which began in January 2021, also played a major role in decreasing the prevalence of the cases.

In light of positive developments, Türkiye gradually eased restrictions related to the pandemic. Currently, none of the previous tight restrictions, from social distancing to mandatory polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR), exist, while hospitals are the only venues where the public is required to wear protective masks.

Professor Şevket Özkaya, a medical expert from Altınbaş University, says the delta variant, thought to be replaced by the milder omicron variant, might be prevailing in the country as the number of fatalities rising again indicated. Özkaya told İhlas News Agency (İHA) on Monday that the delta variant has been responsible for higher fatalities in the past and it likely coexisted with omicron.

Özkaya also said that most people hospitalized with COVID-19 nowadays are those with additional diseases whose health worsened with the infection. “We see patients who suffered from strokes, heart and lung diseases, chronic kidney diseases and placed in intensive care tested positive for COVID-19,” he highlighted. He also said ominously that with the current infection rate, everybody will be affected. “New variants eliminated the gap between inactive and messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine (currently available in Türkiye) in terms of protection. Thus, we advise the public to receive their booster shoots. People inoculated with inactive vaccines should certainly get vaccinated with mRNA vaccine if their last shot was more than six months ago. People at the age of 60 and above and with a regular dose of mRNA vaccine, should also get a single booster shot if their last vaccination was six months ago or earlier,” he said.