Some 7,428 medical staff members in Turkey have been infected with the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on April 29. This figure corresponds to 6.5 percent out of all cases, Koca said during a press conference following a meeting of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Committee in the capital Ankara.
“Out of all 1.1 million health care workers, 7,428 have been infected [with coronavirus]. This corresponds to approximately 6.5 percent out of all cases. This figure is 10-11 percent in Europe on average,” he said.
The minister said that the outbreak has reached its peak in Turkey and the the rate of rise in cases has been seeing a downward trend. However, he called on citizens to abide by measures and isolation rules for a second wave of infections not to arise.
“I can say that we are at a peak period and we see a downward trend. But it is important that this stays permanent, so especially contact, physical distance and isolation should be paid attention to. In this sense, if the necessary measures are not abided by, a new peak wave can arise,” Koca said.
Asked if the authorities were considering easing the curfew imposed on people over the age of 65, Koca said that the issue had come up during the meetings of the Coronavirus Science Committee, but it has not turned into a “clear proposal.”
“The issue has come to our agenda if there could be an ease with regards to the movement of our senior citizens above the age of 65, such as allowing them to stroll outside for a couple of hours, i.e. in short distances without driving a vehicle. But, this has not turned into clear proposal yet. If such a stance is adopted, then it would be presented to our President,” Koca said.
Koca was also asked about when the country will return to normal life. He said that the Coronavirus Science Committee and all relevant ministries were currently in talks to finalize the timeline of gradual normalization process.
“All ministries are taking opinions from the [Coronavirus] Science Committee regarding which precautions will be adopted for the normalization to take place. Later, these decisions will be shared with the public. Certain measures will be maintained during this month, and once the relevant preparations regarding what kind of a normalization will be adopted, these will be announced by the relevant authorities,” he said.