COVID-19 cases in Turkey spike five-fold in two weeks, mostly Delta variant

The number of COVID-19 patients in Turkey has seen an increase of up to five-fold in the past two weeks, expert Dr. Ümit Savaşçı said, adding that almost all of the patients suffer from the Delta variant. The primary reason behind the surge in cases is the vaccine hesitancy among a faction of society, the expert said.

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The number of COVID-19 patients in Turkey has seen up to a five-fold increase over the past two weeks, infectious diseases expert Dr. Ümit Savaşçı said.  

"There has been a three- to five-fold increase in the past 15 days. Patients with light symptoms started to develop medium and severe symptoms," Savaşçı said. 

"Unfortunately we can evaluate all of our cases being as the Delta variant. Their risk of infection is higher [compared to other variants], and also the protection level of inactivated vaccines has stayed a bit low," he said. 

The greatest reason behind the surge in cases is a lack of vaccination among the public, as well as overconfidence among people who have been vaccinated, the expert said. 

Senior patients over 65 who received two doses of the inactive Sinovac shot have also been getting ill and admitted into intensive care, Savaşçı noted. 

Schools in Turkey will reopen on Sep. 6, which will create intense crowds both in the classrooms and on buses, the expert noted, adding that the most important preventative measure would be vaccination.

"Getting families vaccinated is the most important thing if we want to protect our children," Savaşçı said. 

The second measure to be taken to protect children is to continue enforcing protective measures such as masks, distancing and hygiene, the expert added. 

Turkey's Health Ministry reported 255 deaths on Aug. 29 alongside 17,332 new diagnoses.