Duvar EnglishWHO urges Turkey to report COVID-19 data in line with its guides following minister's revelation
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that the ministry will reveal all the coronavirus (COVID-19) data starting from Oct. 15 following controversy over the minister's remarks on not reporting asymptomatic positive cases.
"We'll share them even if they are asymptomatic. We are starting on Oct. 15. We'll be continuing screening on the field in a way that encompasses the whole society within two months," Koca told daily Hürriyet on Oct. 11.
"From now on, we will share the cross-sectional screening even if there are no symptoms," he said, adding that the ministry will then report them to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The minister drew outrage after revealing that the daily COVID-19 figures published by the ministry since July 29 reflected only patients with symptoms, excluding asymptomatic positive cases.
Critics have questioned the veracity of the case and death toll numbers Turkey has reported during the pandemic.Turkish Health Minister's acknowledgement of publishing only symptomatic cases prompts outrage
The WHO, which defines confirmed cases as “a person with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms," called on the country to report COVID-19 data in line with the UN body’s guidance to “harmonize data collection and response measures."
According to Koca, all countries determine their own testing policy.
"We gave all the information regarding our testing policy to the World Health Organization. We said, 'We're testing those with symptoms.' It's also seen in the chart published by Oxford that shows which country does which testing," Koca said.
Turkey was put on England's quarantine on arrival list following its acknowledgement that it did not publish the full number of daily positive COVID-19 cases.
Turkey has reported 1,500 symptomatic coronavirus patients a day in recent weeks on average, while total deaths due to the respiratory disease stand at 8,778, according to health ministry data.