Health Minister Fahrettin Koca
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has refuted reports that the Menzil 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.
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.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that the pace of the COVID-19 pandemic has been slowing down in recent weeks in the country. The minister's comments come shortly after the revelation that the Health Ministry had only been reporting the number of symptomatic COVID-19 patients as the official case count.
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.
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.
Azmi Karaveli writes: No offense, but I have decided to believe every word of Turkey's ministers with all my heart. Accepting this is much less abrasive and tiresome. As the Romans say: “Credo quia absurdum est — I believe it because it is absurd.” Thus, we will be successful in the fight against COVID-19 even if we are truly successful, but we will also be successful even if we fail.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca should resign following the revelation that the ministry has been excluding asymptomatic COVID-19 patients from official numbers, Uludağ University's Prof. Kayıhan Pala said. The confirmation of faulty official numbers destroyed trust in the ministry, posing a challenge in the remainder of the fight against the pandemic, the professor added.
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.
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.
The total number of COVID-19 deaths in Turkey surpassed 8,000 as 65 patients died on Sept. 28, Health Ministry data revealed. Meanwhile, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca noted that the number of recovered patients was higher than the number of new diagnoses for the first time in a while.
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.
A group of health workers in Ankara had to barricade the door of an emergency room when loved ones of a patient wanted to push their way in to see the deceased gunshot victim. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the workers had been afraid of a violent attack, as health workers in Turkey are often targeted by patients' families.
The COVID-19 pandemic has surged to the same intensity as the first two weeks of the outbreak, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chair Sinan Adıyaman said. Meanwhile, chaos could erupt in the winter months as the national health budget becomes strained to the point of bankruptcy, the former chairman of Ankara Medical Association said.