The latest official figures from Turkey's Ministry of Health indicate that as of May 3, the number of cases of the novel coronavirus has reached 126,045 however the Turkish Medial Association (TTB) has said the number actually exceeds 600,000.
26 percent of those complaining of coronavirus symptoms who receive PCR tests have been diagnosed with the virus, according to Dr. Kayıhan Pala from the TTB's COVID-19 observation group.
“What this means is that for every announced case there are three more that are unannounced. Therefore on top of the 120,000, it would be appropriate to say that there are roughly 400-500,000 more. We have information indicating that the number of suspected cases, and preliminary diagnosis cases is upwards of 600,000, and that this is in the Ministry of Health's records as well,” Pala said.
3397 people have died from the virus, according to official figures, though recent announcements of new cases have fallen under 2000 in the past two days, the lowest number recorded since March 30. The government is hopeful that the country will witness a plateau in the next couple of weeks. However, it has been pointed out that the number of tests has varied, as 36,000 people were tested for the virus on May 2, while just 24,000 were tested the following day.
According to Pala, on March 26 the World Health Organization requested that countries use a dual-coded system for the virus, with U07.1 being used to record definite cases and U07.2 used to record potential or suspicious cases. This dual-coded system is being implemented in the UK, Germany and Spain, but not in Turkey, Pala said.WHO 'cautiously optimistic' about COVID-19 in Turkey as new daily cases stabilize