Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 98 to total 1,006 and new confirmed cases rose by 4,747 to bring the country’s total to 47,029, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on April 10.
The total number of recovered cases stood at 2,423, with 281 recoveries in the last 24 hours, and the number of tests carried out in that time was 30,864, Koca said, adding that 1,667 patients are currently in intensive care units.
The minister made the remarks during a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Health Ministry's Coronavirus Science Committee.
Koca also shared the coronavirus infection data on his Twitter account. "We have exceeded the figure of 30,000 in daily test numbers. The number of our labs [conducting virus tests] reached 106. The ratio of our patients who are put into intensive care keeps decreasing," he wrote.
Günlük test sayısında 30.000’i aştık. Laboratuvar sayımız 106’ya çıktı. Yoğun bakıma giren hasta oranımız düşmeye devam ediyor. İyileşme hızında başarı grafiğimizi koruyoruz. Veriler, önümüzdeki günlerde iyileşme hızında artış olacağını gösteriyor.https://t.co/RVlhe7786O pic.twitter.com/ss1gmYVOXY— Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) April 10, 2020
Koca also said that Turkey's Covid-19 death rate -- the number of deaths divided by the total number of cases -- currently stands at 2.15 percent, the 12th highest among countries with the population exceeding 10 million.
Referring to Turkey’s recent decision to distribute protective masks for free, Koca announced that at least 3.5 million face masks have been distributed so far.
Since the first coronavirus case was confirmed on March 11, Turkey has taken a series of measures to curb the spread of the virus, such as quarantining some towns, banning mass prayers, closing schools, bars and restaurants and limiting inter-city travel.April 20 will be the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey, experts warn
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly called on citizens to impose their own quarantine but stopped short of imposing a broad stay-at-home order.
Erdoğan has evoked Turkey’s war of independence in calls for unity against the virus, but opposition parties say their exclusion from fund-raising efforts and the detention of government critics is instead fueling division.
The government’s initial response to the outbreak appeared to have public support. A survey by pollster Metropoll on April 8 showed a strong rise in Erdoğan’s approval rating to 55.8 percent in March, when the first cases emerged in Turkey.
But more than 200 people have been detained for social media posts on the pandemic and Erdoğan, who obtained sweeping new powers in a 2018 switch to a presidential system, has blocked opposition aid campaigns, saying only the state can raise funds.
“The lack of a presidency that embraces all its citizens and unites them is felt more than ever today,” Faik Öztrak, a spokesman for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told reporters this week.
Mithat Sancar, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said the government needed to involve all sections of society to win people over.
“The government in Turkey thinks it can manage this outbreak with fines, detentions and donation campaigns,” Sancar told the T24 news website. “They know these methods won’t work.”