Germany on Aug. 4 partially lifted its coronavirus travel warning for Turkey, greenlighting summer holidays in the destinations of Antalya, İzmir, Aydın and Muğla. Turkey will require all travelers leaving for Germany to show a negative coronavirus test result obtained within the previous 48 hours, German Foreign Ministry said.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has said that number of daily coronavirus infections in Ankara alone amount to approximately 1,000, thereby disputing the official figures which put the daily nationwide tally at around this level. The TTB's statement came as Ankara provincial directorate of health on Aug. 4 ordered all hospitals in the city to allocate at least half of their beds for the use of COVID-19 patients.
A ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy has tested positive positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) days after attending Friday prayers at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia. Akay is the third AKP deputy to announce that he was diagnosed with coronavirus after attending the prayers.
Turkey might see surge in cases in 2 weeks due to COVID-19 violations during Eid al-Adha, say experts
Turkish Health Ministry's Coronavirus Science Committee members have expressed their concerns over violations of coronavirus preventive measures during the Eid al-Adha holiday. They said Turkey might face a growing number of clusters of COVID-19 cases in two weeks time, given an incubation period of up to 14 days for the disease after exposure.
Experts have claimed that the Health Ministry has been hiding the actual number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country amid the worsening situation, as they pointed to the removal of two significant parameters from a chart shared daily by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. They also voiced concerns on a second wave that would put the health system in a difficult situation.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chairman Sinan Adıyaman has criticized the Health Ministry for removing the number of intensive care unit and intubated patients from the daily COVID-19 data it shares every night. Adıyaman said that the ministry's move leads to suspicions that the coronavirus epidemic is getting worse in the country.
Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on July 29 that the partial curfew imposed on senior citizens might be lifted following the Eid al-Adha holiday, in line with the Coronavirus Science Committee's suggestion in this regard. Turkey's elderly aged 65 and above are currently allowed to go out between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. as part of coronavirus measures.
The number of Turkish deputies who have so far tested positive for COVID-19 has increased to 11, as six more MPs have been infected with the virus, Turkish media outlets said on July 28. Of the 11 lawmakers, four have already completed their treatment, whereas seven are currently under surveillance.
Two senior Turkish officials have told Reuters that the daily COVID-19 infection rate may need to dip below the more than 900 seen recently for the government to reopen all schools across the country. One of the officials said classes might have to remain online for some southeastern provinces. "The normalization is under way ... but the numbers should have fallen faster."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged the public to strictly follow the social distancing rules, wear a mask and obey hygiene measures during the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday, amid concerns that social interactions during the four-day-long holiday can cause a dramatic rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
A Turkish Coronavirus Science Committee member said that the muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha would determine whether schools could reopen at the end of August. The professor noted that social traffic during celebrations could make infections spike.
Second wave of COVID-19 expected to hit Turkey in September or October, says Science Committee member
A second wave of COVID-19 is likely to occur in September or October, according to a member of Turkey's Health Ministry Coronavirus Science Committee. “Let us not be deceived by the [recent] decrease in case numbers. We are expecting the second wave to occur in September-October due to the changes in the body immunity, the increase in the crowds and more time spent indoors," Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sema Turan said.
President Erdoğan has dismissed plans to reintroduce a nationwide curfew during the Eid al-Adha holiday. "Of course, the issue's evaluation will be done by the [Health Ministry's Coronavirus] Science Committee, but we can also share our view with the Science Committee," Erdoğan said on July 17.
Six Turkish provinces have not reported any pneumonia cases in last three days, says Health Minister
Turkey on July 15 reported a second straight day of fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on July 15, with 947 cases identified. Koca also said that six provinces have not reported any cases of pneumonia, which is a serious complication of the COVID-19, over the last three days.
Turkey has further backslided from democracy and the rule of law during the COVID-19 period, with the government increasing its levels of repression against the pro-Kurdish HDP and Kurdish people, according to a new report released by the party. The HDP said that the coronavirus has given the AKP government a cover to expand its authority, likening the current implementations to those of 1990s, during which the state staged a heavily discriminatory policy towards the Kurds as a whole.