Turkey should take urgent measures against COVID-19, doctors say

Turkish doctors said the authorities should take urgent steps to tackle COVID-19 after the number of new infections doubled each week since the middle of June.

Cases are increasing very rapidly and it is necessary to re-introduce swift precautionary measures, Ali İhsan Öktem, deputy chair of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) told the Cumhuriyet newspaper.

The Turkish government has not indicated that it will act, Öktem said. “The Health Ministry should take the issue more seriously,” he said.

COVID-19 cases surged to 117,095 last week, more than doubling from 57,113 the previous week, according to Health Ministry data. On June 26, the ministry registered 26,635 new weekly infections, while on June 19, weekly cases stood at 10,954, the data showed.

A significant rise in new cases is expected by the autumn, Öktem said.

Vedat Bulut, the secretary-general of the TTB, blamed the government for easing measures too quickly.

Turkey caused an increase in the number of cases by lifting measures before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of the pandemic, Bulut told Cumhuriyet.

Turkey started gradually easing precautionary measures against the coronavirus in early March by ending PCR testing requirements for indoor spaces. At the end of May, it also ended the mandatory use of protective masks except for in hospitals following a decline in new cases.

Turkey has recorded some 15 million COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. The death toll stands at 99,088.



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