Some 2.5 percent of Turkey's population is currently immune to the novel coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Health's Social Sciences Board member Dr. Mustafa Necmi İlhan.Turkish Health Minister's acknowledgement of publishing only symptomatic cases prompts outrage
“If the number of cases is 310,000, we can say that antibodies have been positively detected in 2.5 percent [of these people]. That means 2.5 percent of our country has just become immune to the coronavirus,” İlhan said.
According to İlhan, this figure was not nearly enough to consider the possibility of social immunity to the virus, which has to reach at least 50 percent.
“Social immunity is very important in diseases such as measles, if a vaccination rate of 90-95 percent is provided for measles, then measles is not seen in society and immunity occurs,” İlhan said.
The Ministry of Health has come under criticism in recent days after it revealed that the daily number of cases it announces, which has been around the 1,500 mark for the past several weeks, only includes symptomatic patients rather than all people who tested positive for COVID-19 that day.
For months, doctors from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) in cities across Turkey have been stressing that the country's epidemic is much more serious than the government would like the public to believe, and that daily positive test figures are vastly higher than the numbers provided by the Ministry of Health.
İlhan said that the country was hoping for good news regarding the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year.Turkish Health Ministry has only been publishing symptomatic coronavirus cases, says minister