Turkey in second peak of first wave of outbreak, says Health Minister

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Turkey is in a second peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, said the health minister noting that some regions are seeing steeper increases in virus cases than others.

The number of coronavirus cases spiked in Turkey as commuting increased with the Eid al-Adha holiday, Fahrettin Koca told daily Hürriyet, adding that another reason behind the rise in new infections was the weddings.

“Weddings provides the ground for the virus to spread as attendees remain in close contact for hours. That is why restrictions have been imposed on weddings,” said Koca.

Several provinces recently introduced curbs on social events, including wedding and engagement ceremonies, such as the limitation to the duration of those events.

As far as the current state of the outbreak in the country is concerned, Koca informed that the coronavirus cases are on the rise in the central Anatolian and southeastern provinces, including the capital Ankara, Konya, Kayseri, Diyarbakır, Urfa, Mardin and Erzurum.

“In Istanbul, there is no serious spike of the cases whereas İzmir [the country’s second-largest province] sees a relative increase, but the situation is under control there,” the minister said.

The occupancy rate at the country’s hospitals is 47 percent, while the occupancy rate in intensive care units is 60 percent, Koca said, adding that hospitals have enough capacity to handle new cases.

On Aug. 31, the country conducted a record number 110,102 of daily tests, with total tests reaching 7.1 million.

Some health institutions, most of them private, which run PCR tests to detect people with COVID-19, failed to report the test results after Aug. 8, according to daily Milliyet.

The failure to enter the results into a system, which is supervised by the Health Ministry, hinders efforts for the treatment of people who tests positive and detect the chain of contacts, the Health Ministry said in a statement sent to all institutions, which conduct the PCR tests.

The ministry warned that the institutions, which continue to fail to report the test results, will be stripped of their authorization to conduct such operations.

Hurriyet Daily News

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