There have been no cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Turkey so far, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca stated late Wednesday after the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board’s videoconference meeting.
Koca released a written statement after the meeting and said that the board gathered to discuss several topics on the agenda, including the omicron variant that emerged in South Africa, the vaccine program, the course of the pandemic and the Turkovac COVID-19 vaccine.
Koca noted that South Africa possessed a commendable screening infrastructure through which it was able to detect and identify the new variant and that it was extremely valuable for it to share the finding with the world quickly.
The minister said that the Scientific Advisory Board, the General Directorate of Public Health and monitoring centers continued to meticulously monitor new variants among the public in Turkey and their effects on the course of the pandemic.
Koca emphasized that the emergence of new variants was expected and that there were no new or worrying developments.
“It has been understood that the new variant has mutated in more than one gene region of the virus. According to preliminary information, the omicron variant is transmitted more rapidly. However, there is no evidence that shows it causes more severe sickness,” Koca stated.