Turkish Health Ministry has revised its daily coronavirus toll for Oct. 19 following an inconsistency in data. The ministry initially said that the country registered 1,958 new coronavirus "patients" in the last 24 hours, but later revised the figure as 2,026.
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.
Doctors at Istanbul’s biggest hospital hold protest over ministry’s failure to pay coronavirus bonuses
Several healthcare workers at Istanbul's Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital, which plays a crucial role in the fight against the coronavirus, have staged a protest on the hospital premises, saying that they have not fully received their supplementary payments as was promised by the Health Ministry. The healthcare staff also demanded that the hospital management acts to ensure safe conditions for them to conduct their works.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has wished a speedy recovery to U.S. counterpart Donald Trump who tested positive for COVID-19, potentially upending his election campaign for the Nov. 3 presidential poll.
A member of Turkish Health Ministry's Social Sciences Board has said that 2.5 percent of Turkey's population is currently immune to the novel coronavirus. “If the number of cases is 310,000, we can say that antibodies have been positively detected in 2.5 percent [of these people]. That means 2.5 percent of our country has just become immune to the coronavirus,” Prof. Dr. Mustafa Necmi İlhan said.
A main opposition CHP deputy has said that the number of patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus Turkey on Sept. 10 is 20 times higher than officially reported by the Health Ministry on the same day. CHP MP Murat Emir based this figure on a document that was allegedly taken from the Health Ministry’s Laboratories Information Management System.
The Ankara Medical Chamber has said that the number of healthcare staff who have contracted the COVID-19 in the city has increased by 61 in the last eight days, reaching to a total of 943.
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.
Turkey on Sept. 23 recorded more than 70 daily coronavirus deaths for the first time since May. Seventy two people died over the past 24 hours due to the COVID-19 in Turkey, while 1,767 new cases were diagnosed, according to the daily figures the Health Ministry announced on a COVID-19 dedicated website on Sept. 23.
The special European Council meeting that was planned for Sept. 24-25 to discuss Turkey's drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, has been postponed to Oct. 1-2 after Council President Charles Michel went into isolation.
President Erdoğan has said that Turkey shifted to a “new phase” in the struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, signaling that the government is preparing to introduce new measures to curb the spread of the virus. He also said that travel restrictions might be reimposed on citizens aged above 65 at the provincial level.
Various rights groups have said that human rights violations recorded in prisons have spiked during the COVID-19 outbreak. As a recent example of the rights violation, the groups said that authorities had confiscated several personal belongings of a group of inmates during their transfer to two newly opened Diyarbakır prisons.
Some 40 medical chambers affiliated with the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) have released a joint statement reiterating their support for the organization. “We are fortunate to have our professional organization that prioritizes and defends the right of public health, and does not compromise when it comes to scientific and free thinking," the chambers said, following MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli's call for the TTB's closure.
Turkish musicians have launched a campaign on social media with the hashtag of #MüziğeSesVer (which translates as “Give voice to music”) to raise awareness on the devastating impact of the COVID-19 on the whole music chain. “It is impossible for the sector to recover from the current financial damage through its own efforts," said a statement issued by the campaign organizers.
Erdoğan ally calls for closure of top medial association for protesting increasing COVID-19 infections
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has called for the closure of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) after the organization has this week launched a series of protest events, accusing the government of mismanaging the COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of Bahçeli's remarks, messages of support poured in from Twitter users for the TTB, with the hashtag campaign of "#İyikiTTBvar" (which translates as "So glad we have TTB") going viral.