'Turkey's COVID-19 cases spiked six-fold in past three months'

A member of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) reported that their calculations point to a six-fold increase in the country's number of COVID-19 patients and deaths in the past three months. Meanwhile, the association can't calculate the true ratio of critical patients from a lack of official data.

Müzeyyen Yüce / DUVAR

Turkey's severely ill COVID-19 patients and deaths from the illness have spiked six-fold in the past three months, surpassing the first peak around the start of the pandemic in April, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) COVID-19 Observation Group member Prof. Kayıhan Pala said. 

Pala noted that Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reported in 10 percent of all tests to come back positive in September, but that the TTB predicts the real number of patients to be much higher than the official data. 

"We estimated then that the real numbers were much higher anyways. If we say 20 percent are positive, that means we could have as much as 30,000 new patients diagnosed each day," Pala said.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry's measurement of severely ill patients is misguiding as well, Pala said, as the global measure is in fact "critical patients," which averages around one or two percent in other countries. 

"Our critical care patients average around five to six percent. Why is this number six times the global average? The Health Ministry can't answer for that either."

Pala said that he predicts the number is miscalculated because the Health Ministry fails to reveal the real total number of patients in the country. 

As provinces around Turkey placed curfews on senior citizens in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, Pala said that this measure was in fact premature. 

"It's wrong to isolate seniors without a technical evaluation of the distribution of deaths according to age. We're risking the physical and mentall wellness of seniors in an attempt to take precaution."

14-day nationwide lockdown necessary

Pala said that a true solution to the spread of the pandemic would be a nationwide lockdown. 

"Everybody needs to be on lockdown for 14 days, the longest possible incubation period, and if possible, 28 days would be even better." 

Meanwhile, all residential areas have been red on the Health Ministry's mobile application, meaning that the areas were high risk for COVID-19.