Duvar English

The number of COVID-19 cases in Istanbul have spiked by 50 percent in the past month, Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Oct. 14.

“We are not considering any restrictive precautions in Istanbul at the moment,” Koca added.

Minister Koca was recently at the center of a major controversy for revealing that the Health Ministry had only reported the number of asymptomatic patients, although he said that all data the ministry shared was correct.

Koca’s revelation of the ministry’s data sparked nationwide debate, leading to major suspicion about the credibility of official data and even prompting some to urge the minister to resign.

Meanwhile, the number of patients in the capital Ankara, considered the epicenter of the pandemic after normalization started in June, have dropped by 60 percent in the past month, Koca said.

The Aegean province of İzmir saw a drop of 50 percent in the number of cases in the past month, while cases surged by up to 50 percent in western Balıkesir and Bilecik.

Turkey observed some 1,671 new diagnoses on Oct. 14, along with 57 patients’ deaths, putting the total number of patients who died from COVID-19 in Turkey at 9,014.

Minister Koca also noted upon inquiry that more than 40,000 health workers had tested positive for COVID-19 in Turkey so far, and that some 107 have died.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Pharmacists’ Association’s warning that the country will experience a shortage of vaccines in the upcoming flu season is a creating a false perception that everyone must receive the shot, Koca added.

Turkey will receive 1.5 million shots, and will administer them to patients with the priority of high-risk groups for COVID-19.