COVID-19 cases, virus-related deaths decline in Istanbul, says health minister

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The number of COVID-19 cases and coronavirus-related deaths in Istanbul, the country’s largest city by population, has declined thanks to the measures taken to curb the spread of the disease, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

He reminded that Istanbul accounted for 65 percent of all confirmed cases and 54 percent of virus-related deaths in Turkey in April and added, “The number of patients and deaths [in the city] has declined by 72 percent and 78 percent, respectively.”

In a tweet Koca, however, noted that the number of patients in critical condition in Istanbul has risen 42 percent over the past month.

“We can together eliminate the risk which can emerge in Istanbul,” he wrote on Twitter.

Professor Tufan Tükek, the dean of Istanbul University Medical School, has warned of a second wave in the outbreak in September and said that the situation may get worse in Istanbul.

“It is a crowded city. Some quarters of the population are not very conscious [about the pandemic] and health workers are exhausted,” Tükek told daily Hürriyet.

Istanbul’s residents have started to return to the city from holiday resorts and their hometowns and schools will reopen while some universities are not having courses online, he said, citing possible risks.

“Thousands of students will be on the move and they will need accommodation. If the dormitories become full, the risk of contagion will only rise,” Tükek noted.

He warned that the number of daily cases may increase to 2,000 across the country.

Tükek also said that he believed the number of actual cases could be three or four times more than the officially confirmed ones given the fact the PCR tests may not be very accurate.

Hurriyet Daily News

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