Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Sept. 3 met with members of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), including TTB head Sinan Adıyaman, for the first time in months. The meeting came following the top medical association's request for an appointment last week.Turkey's top medical association calls for meeting with Health Minister after 32 doctors succumb to COVID-19
Adıyman told reporters after the meeting that he had conveyed to Minister Koca about the TTB's concerns with regards to the spread of the COVID-19 as well as problems that healthcare personnel are going through.
Adıyaman also said he had told Koca that the official statistics on COVID-19 infections and deaths were inconsistent with the data that is reported by doctors on the field. The TTB has been for weeks now accusing the government of sharing inaccurate statistics with regards to the spread of the COVID-19. Mayors of Istanbul and Ankara have also recently refuted COVID-19 data shared by the Health Ministry, saying that the number of cases and deaths are actually higher.
"We told the minister that the [official] statistics were not credible and we have also inferred this from what the governors have been saying. The minister has not much commented on this issue," Adıyaman said.
“We thanked him [Koca, for the meeting] but we, as the TTB, will continue to monitor the deficiencies with regards to the pandemic, see the damage and warn the authorities about them,” Adıyaman said.Turkey at second peak of coronavirus outbreak, health minister says
TTB COVID-19 Monitoring Council member Özlem Azap said that they had also discussed during the meeting the TTB's efforts to have COVID-19 recognized as an occupational disease for healthcare staff.
“Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that works will continue for COVID-19 to be evaluated as an occupational disease for healthcare staff who lost their lives due to the disease,” Azap said.
Meanwhile, Turkey registered 1,642 new cases of the virus on Sept. 3, raising the country's overall count to 274,943. The death toll in the country rose to 6,511 as 49 more people died over the past day.
"Pneumonia rates in our five provinces with the highest number of patients; Ankara with 4.7%, Istanbul 4.61%, Konya 8.78%, Kayseri 6.49%, Diyarbakır 8.37%," Koca wrote on Twitter.