Turkey's top medical association has said that 143,000 coronavirus patients are currently treated at their homes, whereas 460,000 others have been placed under mandatory home quarantine. The Turkish Medical Association made the remarks based on the results of a survey conducted with family physicians across the country.
Turkey's Deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı has said that reports of Ankara mulling re-imposing curfews are "completely baseless." Çataklı's comments came after Reuters, citing a senior official, said that the government is weighing the re-implementation of lockdowns to stem rising coronavirus cases in the country.
A study has indicated that the government was aware of the coronavirus in Turkey in the month prior to the announcement of the first case. Meanwhile, two Turkish scientists have said that Istanbul recorded 6,645 more deaths than expected between March 11-Sept. 29, based on weekly averages from the last five years – suggesting a hidden toll.
Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has made a distinction between COVID-19 "patients" and "cases," saying that the ministry has not been reporting the number of COVID-19 cases that tested positive for the virus but showed no symptoms. Koca said that COVID-19 "patients" are people with clinical symptoms, whereas "cases" include those who are asymptotic.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that coronavirus (COVID-19) positive individuals will wear electronic bracelets while under quarantine as a measure against violating quarantine rules. The ministry is evaluating two options regarding the bracelet and both options include alarming authorities if breaches take place.
The Turkish Health Ministry is under scrutiny over the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases it announces daily. "This is not the exact number of positive cases. However, this is not the number of patients receiving treatment at hospitals only," the ministry reportedly told Prof. Mehmet Ceyhan, prompting confusion on what the numbers on the daily coronavirus chart mean.
Most sanitizers used in Turkish hospitals are fake, pharmaceutical company head tells health minister
Merkez İlaç CEO Mehmet Şapçı has told Health Minister Fahrettin Koca that most of the sanitizers used in hospitals are fake. According to Şapçı, these fake products have around 3.3 percent povidone-iodine, whereas the standard is at 10 percent. He also named the fake products in the letter he sent to the minister.
President Erdoğan has said that the government is preparing to introduce new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, since "people have not complied with the rules." The virus infections began increasing after Ankara loosened restrictions on public activity, starting in June. Critics have also accused the government of hypocrisy with regards to the measures, pointing out that social distancing measures were being overlooked in several occasions, such as the rallies of the AKP.
The number of both active COVID-19 patients and those in critical care have been increasing, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Sept. 15. Turkey observed 67 deaths and the number of patients receiving critical care rose to 1,327 on the same day.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that the reopening of schools on Sept. 21 will begin with preschool and first-grade students. “This implementation can show difference depending on the city, due to the course of the epidemic,” Erdoğan said on Sept. 7.
Health workers in Turkey's southern province of Antalya on Aug. 31 protested the death of five of their colleagues in the province last week. The group hung black masks outside the local health directorate to ask for the government's redesign of COVID-19 precautions for health workers.
Ankara, Istanbul mayors refute Health Ministry data on COVID-19, say number of deaths, cases are higher
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş have refuted COVID-19 data shared by the Health Ministry. "An investigation commission must be set up in parliament and they should ask for data from mayors of Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara. They then should look at official data," Yavaş said, while asking, "What good does it have to announce the numbers lower than they actually are?"
Authorities in Istanbul announced curbs on weddings and other ceremonies in Turkey's largest city on Aug. 29. The restrictions were published a few hours before Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 1,549 new cases of coronavirus had been diagnosed in Turkey, the highest daily number since mid-June. Thirty-nine people died, the most since mid-May, he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic is out of control in Turkey, as the number of daily diagnoses has surpassed the number of patients who successfully completed treatment for a few days, infections expert Prof. Mehmet Ceyhan said on Aug. 26. Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has implemented additional precautions such as limiting wedding ceremonies' length.
The Unity for Democracy platform has released an announcement on its website on Aug. 24 asserting that Turkey's present coronavirus situation is out of control and has called for urgent measures to be taken, citing recent figures and statements from healthcare experts.