Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is responsible for the increase in COVID-19 cases since it failed to stop passages between regions and provinces in the country, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Public Health Director Nasır Nesanır said.
Turkey's Health Ministry revealed a map of the distribution of cases among provinces to establish local measures when the regulations and restrictions should have been considered on a larger scale, the expert said.
"When you take precautions in a risky province, you have to also cut it off from surrounding areas, this was not done between high and low risk areas in Turkey," Nesanır noted.
Travel between provinces accelerates the spread of COVID-19 significantly, Nesanır said, adding that the introduction of the coronavirus mutation from Britain has also deteriorated the situation in Turkey.
In addition, Turkey has failed to provide a sufficient supply of vaccines, with 40 to 50 million doses that were expected in February not having arrived, Nesanır noted.
"If we had enough vaccines, we wouldn't be observing such an increase in cases."
The number of "high risk" provinces on the Health Ministry's map of COVID-19 cases distributions increased by 11 between the first and second weeks of March to reach a total of 33.
Perhaps even more concerning, the number of "very high risk" provinces on Feb. 8 was at a mere nine, a number that has since almost tripled, with 25 provinces being reported to be very high risk for COVID-19 in the week of March 6.
Meanwhile, experts say that another 14 days will reveal the true results of Ankara's decision to relax restrictions on March 1, lifting weekend lockdowns and travel restrictions.