'Istanbul about to hit a wall in pandemic, needs 14-day lockdown'

Istanbul is about to hit a wall in its fight against COVID-19 and should implement a 14-day lockdown, a public health expert from Ankara University said. Meanwhile, Istanbul health workers say that the chain of filiation was broken months ago in the metropolis.

Duvar English

The number of COVID-19 patients in Istanbul has surpassed the initial peak in April, and a two-week lockdown is needed to curb the spreadö Ankara University public health expert Prof. Ahmet Saltık said. 

Saltık said that many hospitals report a shortage of intensive care units which could force health workers to prioritize among patients and that the metropolitan city was coming to a dead-end in its fight against the pandemic. 

"If the Health Ministry is opposed to a 14-day lockdown, they should explain their viewpoint with scientific data. We need a 14-day lockdown, starting in Istanbul."

The professor also noted the grave responsibility born by health workers and said that Turkey hit a wall in the pandemic as a result of Ankara's "non-scientific" approach to the pandemic.  

"We've been saying for months that at least 100,000 new health workers needed to be employed. The employed professionals are no longer enough."

Meanwhile, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca's narrative that "we will be done with masks soon" thanks to the invention of a vaccine is highly misleading, Saltık added. 

"Say 45 million people will be allocated vaccinations in Turkey, but that sort of supply is impossible to obtain. It takes serious resources and time," Saltık said.  

Health workers in Istanbul who are tasked with the filiation of patients also say that it's become impossible to track down everyone that a diagnosed patient has had contact with. 

"The filiation chain was broken months ago," a health worker who wished to remain anonymous told daily BirGün. 

Responsible for a single district on the European side of Istanbul, the health worker said that they are told to visit with 800 to 1,000 patients every day.