Turkey's Health Ministry has changed its criteria for who can and should be tested for COVID-19.
Under the new criteria, it will be enough for a patient to show at least one of the symptoms of respiratory illness (such as cough, difficulty in breathing) or fever to avail of diagnostic testing for the novel coronavirus.
If the patient has one of these symptoms, they will be placed in areas dedicated for tests, NTV reported on April 3.
However, even if the patient does not show any such symptoms, they will not be sent home directly. The doctor will ask them if they or one of the household members visited abroad within the last 14 days, if a relative had been hospitalized with respiratory problems recently or tested postive for coronavirus. If the answer to one of these questions is “yes,” then the patient will be also tested for the virus.Turkey expands coronavirus testing criteria after confirmed cases
Health Ministry's Coronavirus Science Committee determines the criteria for who can be tested for the virus. The committee has expanded the criteria as the number of cases in the country started to spike.
Until March 11, i.e. when Turkey saw its first confirmed case, the Health Ministry used to test only patients who had a history of traveling to "high risk countries," such as China, Iran and Italy. Afterwards, the criteria was expanded to cover patients who had a history of traveling abroad -- independent of which country it is.
Later on March 25, Prof. Dr. Ateş Kara, a member of the Coronavirus Committee, said that the condition of having traveled abroad was lifted for the testing criteria and whoever suffered from high fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing would be tested.Turkey’s coronavirus death toll hits 425, total cases 20,921