Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has signaled that the partial curfew imposed on senior citizens will be completely lifted following the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday.
“We are grateful to our senior citizens. They have put so much effort to abide by the rules. The Coronavirus Science Committee has put forward a proposal for the restrictions imposed on the elderly to be lifted in the short-run following the Eid al-Adha. We will make an announcement following the holiday,” Koca said during a press conference on July 29.
In March, the government imposed a strict curfew for the country’s citizens aged 65 and above. But with the coronavirus cases subsiding, Ankara relaxed the measures in June, allowing the elderly to go out between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day.
Koca also urged the public to follow the measures strictly during the four-day-long Eid al-Adha, which will take place between July 31 and Aug. 3. “If we take a risk during the holiday in the face of the virus, this would bring a heavy sin to us,” he said.
Koca also said that immunity to COVID-19 among Turkish public stands at a mere 0.8 percent, according to a recent testing of 153,000 people. “The immunity rate is very low. We have understood that we cannot achieve a success with herd immunity,” he said.
The minister also said that 26 people out of every 10,000 have been infected with the virus but are not aware of it as they show no symptom of infection at all. “This is very important to show us how important social distancing and wearing a mask is,” Koca said.
Pneumonia rate among COVID-19 patients 9.4 percent in Turkey, data show
As of July 29, Turkey began to share the number of “seriously ill” patients and the pneumonia rate among COVID-19 patients, following international standard practices.
Accordingly, Koca announced that a total of 542 coronavirus patients in Turkey are “seriously ill,” with the pneumonia rate among all patients at 9.4 percent.
The total number of fatalities in the country caused by the disease rose to 5,659 with the latest daily addition of 14, Koca said on Twitter.
Citing Health Ministry data, the minister said that a total of 942 people contracted COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 228,924.