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.
Turkey’s top medical association calls for meeting with Health Minister after 32 doctors succumb to COVID-19
As the number of doctors who lost their lives due to the COVID-19 has reached 32, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chairman Sinan Adıyaman has demanded a meeting with Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. "We would like to hold a face-to-face meeting with you to discuss implementations that would prevent and curb the deaths and infections in question. We are of the opinion that this information exchange is our historical responsibility on both sides,” Adıyaman said in his letter on Aug. 27.
The U.S. State Department has updated its travel advisory for those traveling to Turkey, saying that level 3 caution (“reconsider travel”) is still valid due to the COVID-19. Only Turkey's southeastern provinces of Şırnak and Hakkari well as any area within 10 kilometres of the Syrian border fall under level 4 (“do not travel”), the U.S. State Department said.
Turkey's daily COVID-19 cases jumped to its highest level since mid-June on Aug. 25 at 1,502. The government responded by banning circumcision feasts, henna nights and engagement parties in 14 provinces.
Turkey can achieve its economic goals only if the country manages to keep the number of coronavirus cases at a low level, President Erdoğan has said. "Turkey can reach its targets in production, employment and export if the country's pandemic trend improves," Erdoğan said on Aug. 24 following a cabinet meeting.
Batman governor and police chief were seen flouting the coronavirus measures during a wedding party, daily Sözcü reported on Aug. 24. Gov. Hulusi Şahin had his photo taken without his mask on, whereas Police Chief Köroğlu Kıraç performed halay dance with guests.
Fears of a second wave of COVID have bolstered the demand for flu shots among the Turkish population this year, amid concerns that the country might face a shortage. A main opposition CHP deputy has said that the current 1-1.5 million doses of flu shots will not suffice for the whole population, as a result of which the government will make new orders at overcharged prices.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that Turkey is in talks with Russia, Germany and China about conducting Phase 3 trials for coronavirus vaccines developed in those countries. Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, he said there were 13 vaccines being developed in Turkey, three of which have gone beyond the animal testing phase.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that Turkey on Aug. 19 registered the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in the last 1.5 months. Koca's statement came as the country saw 1,303 new cases and 23 more fatalities from the virus.
An infectious diseases expert noted that sharing make-up products can spread COVID-19 within a matter of hours. Prof. Mehmet Ceyhan said that coronavirus can stay active on products for up to five hours.
Turkey's death toll from the coronavirus (COVID-19) rose by 20 on Aug. 18 to 6,016, health ministry data showed, with the total number of identified cases rising to 251,805. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reiterated his warnings on Twitter while sharing the daily coronavirus chart.
Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has announced that schools will reopen on Aug. 31 with distance learning, but face-to-face lessons will not resume until Sept. 21. Selçuk's comments came after the Health Ministry's Coronavirus Science Committee suggested that face-to-face lessons should be postponed for at least a month amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The U.S.' health protection agency CDC has designated Turkey as a risky place for COVID-19, urging Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to the country. "COVID-19 risk in Turkey is high. If you get sick in Turkey and need medical care, resources may be limited," the CDC said.
Turkey’s Interior Ministry has declared a document circulating on social media claiming that a curfew would be imposed this weekend as fake news. Deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı on Aug. 6 urged the people not to be misled by such “fake documents whose origins are unknown.”
Turkey's daily COVID-19 cases have shown a sharp rebounding trend, with more than 1,000 daily jump in successive days. “We need to prevent the risk in the Eid al-Adha and holiday from causing new consequences. We need unity in precautions," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.