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Turkey’s health minister calls for the public to comply with social isolation during Ramadan

Turkey’s health minister calls for the public to comply with social isolation during Ramadan

Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca urged the nation to stay home during Ramadan as the holy month of fasting traditionally marked by frequent visiting, socializing and, for some, intercity travel.

“Controlling social mobility during Ramadan is a critical threshold in our fight against the pandemic. To prevent provinces with fewer coronavirus cases from becoming the focal point of another outbreak, we absolutely require social isolation. We hope that people will avoid shaking hands or hugging each other to celebrate the festival. We will have a more joyous Ramadan once we leave these difficult days behind,” Koca told the Sabah newspaper in an exclusive interview.

“Istanbul has been Turkey’s Wuhan,” Koca said, referring to the Chinese city that was the epicenter of the outbreak in that country. “Istanbul has an even higher population density compared to Wuhan but we managed to bring the outbreak under control there,” Koca said.

Istanbul, Turkey’s most densely populated city, has had the highest number of coronavirus cases. “(Hundreds of) our field crews have toured Istanbul to find people COVID-19 patients had contacted in order to break the cycle of infection. They are medical detectives who have used their methods to help us manage the outbreak in the city,” he said. Koca added that the first patients in Istanbul were hospitalized while in a worse condition than other patients, with serious respiratory problems. “As we learned more about the chain of infection, we were able to carry out early diagnoses and treatments for new patients. In the end, it became a manageable situation,” Koca said.

The country on Thursday confirmed 115 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total death toll to 2,491. The total number of registered coronavirus cases surged to 101,790, as 3,116 more people tested positive for the virus. So far, 18,491 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the virus, with 2,014 discharged on Thursday alone. A total of 40,962 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, with the total reaching 791,906.