Doctors in Turkey are alarmed by the fact that the Health Ministry has still not revealed its criteria in choosing which individuals get tested and why.
While the Health Ministry said on Aug. 26 that the number of daily coronavirus tests exceeded 100,000, according to Ali Karakoç, the president of the Ankara branch of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), complaints from people who came into contact with asymptomatic and untested individuals have increased recently.
Karakoç said that university hospitals that were not designated as “pandemic hospitals” are having difficulty accessing the kits used in the PCR tests.
“Workers and laborers on the production line say that in order to get tested, they get an acquaintance involved,” he said.
“Based on the information we've received, half of the tests are conducted on those leaving the country, while another segment are for those who work for certain political parties in parliament,” said TTB president Sinan Adıyaman.
“It has been said that those working for the presidency are being tested every three days. One parliamentarian said that they got tested eight times in total, for example. So how many people are getting tested? Does that include those who have come in contact with the virus, or only those who go to the emergency room? The ministry needs to answer these questions at once,” Adıyaman said.
According to Adıyaman, 80 percent of those with coronavirus are asymptomatic, and as a result, different segments of society need to get tested, particularly those who have come into contact with the virus, and that if these people are to be included, less than 100,000 daily tests would be insufficient.
Karakoç added that people were forced to lie and make up fake symptoms in order to receive the test, and that the country's healthcare system was crushed under the weight of the pandemic.
“We send everyone to inpatient facilities for the test. Since we treat everyone in this way, normal health services have collapsed. Citizens cannot access normal health services and this is a major issue,” Karakoç said.