Müzeyyen Yüce / DUVAR
Mehmet Ceyhan, the chair of Turkey’s Infectious Diseases Association says it is imperative that Turkey swiftly identifies what doctors have been referred to as the “super carriers” of coronavirus.
“Once the virus begins to spread throughout the country, there is what once calls a ‘super carrier.’ Those super carriers were behind the pandemic in France and South Korea. While most people can only spread the virus to two or three other people, these super carriers can spread it to hundreds of people. Why that is remains unsure. But in order to identify these super carriers, we must carry out a lot more tests” Ceyhan said.
According to him, the Ministry of Health’s recent decision to conduct coronavirus tests in all of Turkey’s major cities was wise.
“Up to now, we’ve tested people who were in contact with people from abroad. But now there are local cases in Turkey. For that reason we need to widen the test network and test many more people. The Ministry of Health has made their decision accordingly. In this manner, we will discover a lot more cases and lower the death rate. In other words, as the as the number of new tests increases, the death rate decreases,” Ceyhan said.
“At the moment, our available supply of kits is not sufficient to conduct a sufficient number of tests. We are struggling to get tests from across the world. The Ministry of Health said that it would bolster its efforts with blood tests. As of now, the test we are implementing examines the DNA of the virus. In contrast, the blood test looks at one’s immune system. But such tests are bound to be problematic if we bear in mind that some people’s immune system does not function well. With the blood test, we can also examine a much higher number of people.”
Ceyhan added that is it currently impossible to foresee how the situation will evolve in Turkey. The weather and other factors are likely to affect.
“It would be prophetical to say that this will be over in three weeks, or when the weather gets warmer. It remains unknown how long this virus can survive under different temperatures. Though it is currently the summer in the Southern Hemisphere, there has been a serious increase in cases there too. We are still in phase of observation of the virus,” Ceyhan said.