Serkan Alan / DUVAR

A doctor from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has said that they expect the coronavirus pandemic to recur in September, as she commented on the problems healthcare professionals face in Turkey.

“We expect the pandemic to recur in September. The shortcomings of this system need to be removed rapidly until then,” Filiz Ünal, head of the TTB’s family practitioners branch, told Duvar, adding that the outbreak is expected to continue for three more months.

Filiz Ünal.

“If the tests are not carried out sufficiently and if you don’t provide for the needs of healthcare workers, the infection will spread quickly,” she also said.

As Turkish authorities urge people to stay home and refrain from going to hospitals if their complaints are not serious, thousands of people seek help from family practitioners with symptoms of flu.

Ünal said that family practitioners’ situation is dire due to the lack of medical gear.

“We are expected to put on goggles, gloves and single-use aprons when checking patients suspected of being infected with coronavirus. We have just received single-use aprons. They are oversized, so it’s not easy to examine a patient in them. The gloves are also oversized,” Ünal said.

“There is an extraordinary chaos in terms of medical equipment and the operation,” she added.

According to Ünal, the virus spread quickly in Turkey due to a couple of reasons, including not taking pilgrims who returned from Saudi Arabia under quarantine in the beginning.

“We did the best we can for the virus to spread by letting pilgrims go, tracking only the fever of those who returned from abroad and dealing with coronavirus patients without providing necessary equipment to healthcare professionals,” she said.

“What needs to be done from this point onward is to increase the number of tests rapidly and ensure the isolation of coronavirus positive cases,” Ünal added.