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.
Health workers in Ankara are instructed to prioritize patients they defined as VIP, often connections of local politicians or Health Ministry workers, daily BirGün reported. Ambulance drivers and paramedics reported being redirected to VIP patients by dispatch even if the "patient" doesn't need transportation to the hospital, or are asymptomatic.
All hospital beds and dormitories are filled in southeastern Mardin, where experts are worried the health infrastructure will fail to accommodate needs as the number of cases in the city approach 5,000.
The Turkish government needs to take independent scientific advice into account if it really wants to gain total control of the pandemic. Attempting to suppress critics, the media and scientific advice is not the solution.
Following the Ramadan holiday, it is expected that clinics in Turkey will start to function as normal with certain conditions imposed based on the decline in the number of new daily cases. While expecting a busy wave of patients at all medical facilities, medical experts urge the government to review the health system's needs.
Some medical experts in Turkey argue that the hospitals which were previously emptied by the AKP government, can easily be ransformed into functioning hospitals with minimal spending to treat COVID-19 patients. One might wonder why they were closed in the first place.
Turkey's Health Ministry last week approved the use of plasma therapy to treat the novel coronavirus. The treatment works by taking donated blood from someone who has recovered from the virus and giving it to a critically ill patient. The technique was for the first time applied on a patient in the eastern province of Malatya on April 5.
Özlem Akarsu Çelik reports: The coronavirus outbreak in Turkey will grow and the country needs to create a system to combat it, said Prof. Murat Akova, a professor of infectious diseases at Hacettepe University. "It’s too late to enforce widespread testing in Turkey. We need to prevent human-to-human contact if we want to break the cycle," Akova told.