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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Turkish public transportation and accommodation will require customers to provide their state COVID-19 code, which reveals whether they're infected with coronavirus. The unique codes are available on the Health Ministry's mobile application and the online government portal.
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 Health Ministry has issued a new circular concerning the temporary supplementary payments given during the coronavirus epidemic. As per the new circular, doctors will get up to 50 percent increase in their coronavirus bonuses, whereas Diyanet personnel responsible for handling the deceased' bodies will get a 100 percent increase in their additional payments.
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.
A young man is offering unique codes provided by the government to visitors of the Diyarbakır Courthouse, as the codes are required to enter public buildings. Initially created as a traveling precaution during the pandemic, HES codes are available online, but not everyone knows g-how to get them, the young man said.
Turkey began the final Phase III trials of an experimental Chinese coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on Sept. 16. The results of the trial will be sent the World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine candidate being trialled in Turkey was developed by Sinovac.
A man who battered three nurses and stabbed a patient who tried to stop him in a community health center in western Ayvalık was released on bail on Sept. 11. The man attacked the nurses because they told him his mother would need to be put on a waitlist for a pneumonia shot.
Health Ministry's persistence not to reveal its criteria in choosing which individuals get tested for COVID-19 drew ire. The president of the Ankara branch of the Turkish Medical Association said people are forced to make up fake symptoms in order to receive the test while those who work for the presidency are being tested every three days.
Ankara has failed to make payments to private suppliers in the western province of Eskişehir for over a year, bringing the manufacturers to the brink of dysfunction. The companies' supply of medical equipment was part of a state tender that mandated payments every 120 to 200 days.