Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has refuted reports that the Menzil religious cult is active within the ministry, while also promising to fight all cults. The minister's remarks came after Ali Edizer, a deputy chief physician, was removed from his post after defending Islamist polygamy on social media. His links to the Menzil cult surfaced later on, adding to the years-long suspicion that the religious group is active in the ministry.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca slammed Istanbulites' Sunday outing on İstiklal Avenue on Oct. 18, saying that anyone who entered the crowd healthy would come out ill. Meanwhile, some 1,815 COVID-19 diagnoses were made on Oct. 18, while some 72 patients died.
Health Ministry failed to deliver an Oct. 15 data release that was designed to offset the repercussions of the revelation that Ankara's official COVID-19 numbers had been excluding asymptomatic patients. The ministry said that Fahrettin Koca's promise to release all data starting on Oct. 15 had been "misunderstood," and that they would only share certain numbers with the WHO.
Istanbul has observed a 50 percent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the past month, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Oct. 14. "We are not considering any restrictive precautions in Istanbul at the moment," Koca said, adding that more than 40,000 health workers had tested positive for COVID-19 in Turkey so far.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that the ministry will reveal all the coronavirus data starting from Oct. 15. "We'll share them even if they are asymptomatic. We are starting on Oct. 15. We'll be continuing screening on the field in a way that encompasses the whole society within two months," Koca told daily Hürriyet on Oct. 11. The minister previously drew outrage after revealing that the daily COVID-19 figures reflected only patients with symptoms, excluding asymptomatic positive cases.
Turkey is expecting a supply of 1.5 million flu shots by Oct. 15, but pharmacists fear that the amount will fall short of demand. While many citizens are interested in receiving flu shots amid the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals in risk groups may not all have access, pharmacists fear.
A recent statement by Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca revealed that official COVID-19 data has been faulty as early as April, when the minister said that some 20 percent of tests yielded positive results. According to this rate, an average of 200,000 positive results should have been reported in April, but the actual number was closer to 120,000, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) COVID-19 committee member Prof. Kayıhan Pala said.
A physician from the Ministry of Health's Health Sciences University (SBÜ), was fired from his position after sharing social media posts where he defended polygamy as an alternative to divorce. "Formal monogamy is the freedom of adultery and prostitution in practice," he wrote in a Facebook post.
The World Health Organization’s office in Turkey has called on the country to report COVID-19 data in line with the UN body’s guidance following Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca's revelation that the ministry publishes symptomatic positive cases only. The WHO also praised Turkey's increased testing capacity and contact tracing efforts.
Top medical association questions Health Ministry’s shift in COVID-19 numbers: What changed overnight?
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) slammed the Health Ministry's differentiation between COVID-19 "cases" and "patients." "Patients and cases are the same thing in the science of medicine. Don't play with our health and our minds!" the Oct. 1 statement from the TTB said.
Turkey has been removed from the U.K.'s quarantine-free list following Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca’s acknowledgement that Ankara did not publish the full number of daily positive COVID-19 cases but only those who are symptomatic. British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Oct. 1 that Turkey has been defining the number of new COVID-19 cases in a different way to international organisations.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca's acknowledgement that the government did not publish the full number of daily positive COVID-19 cases but only those who are symptomatic prompted outrage in the country. "You didn't carry out the process transparently. We've been saying this for six months. You hid the truth. You didn't prevent the outbreak from spreading," the Turkish Medical Association said in a tweet on Sept. 30.
Turkish state and university hospitals are offering to repay debts totalling some 19 billion lira ($2.43 billion) to drugmakers and medical equipment firms, but with a discount, Reuters reported on Sept. 29.
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.
Istanbul Medical Chamber said on Sept. 25 that a healthcare worker who warned a patient's relative to put his mask on was beaten. Prof. Dr. Tufan Tükek, dean of Istanbul University’s Çapa Medical Faculty, said that the health worker named Rıfat Babayiğit might suffer a permanent vision loss due to the attack.