Duvar English

Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca denied that the rampage ahead of the 48-hour curfew of April 10 caused a second wave of COVID-19 infections, despite a half-percentage-point spike in the spread rate of the virus.

The spread rate of COVID-19, meaning the number of new cases diagnosed each day, had increased as much as 14 percent in Turkey, but was down to 4.8 percent April 18 and April 19.

Some 10 days after crowds flooded streets and violated social distancing measures in an attempt to stock up on supplies ahead of the 48-hour curfew of April 10, the spread rate spiked.

The COVID-19 spread rate reached 5.4 percent April 20 when the number of new cases increased from 3,977 to 4,674 in one day, dropping back to 5.1 April 21 when only 634 new patients were diagnosed.

“So there was no ‘second wave.’ The process was manageable despite the sudden movement of April 10,” Health Minister Koca said.

On the other hand, expert in infectious diseases Dr. Asuman İnan noted that the spike in the spread rate of the virus April 20 and April 21 was caused by the rampage of April 10.

Prof. Osman Erk Istanbul University Medical Faculty added that the spread of the virus slowed down immediately, even dropping below previous levels after April 22, which indicated the spike was caused by April 10.

The rampage on April 10 was triggered by the government’s short notice of the curfew (a few hours before implementation), which then lead to the resignation of Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t accept Soylu’s resignation despite his admission of the blame for the chaos that followed the curfew announcement.