The number of new COVID-19 cases in Turkey jumped to nearly 25,000, government data showed, the highest level in almost three months, as the health minister urged Turkish nationals to get vaccinated against the virus.
The number of new cases hit 24,832 on Aug. 3, up from 22,898 the day before, according to the Health Ministry’s figures.
The daily number of deaths from COVID-19 also rose to 126, the most fatalities since June 1, as the country battles with another wave of the virus which has spread since authorities relaxed pandemic-related restrictions.
“If we follow the rules of combating the epidemic and get our vaccinations, we will take action to end the pandemic,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a tweet accompanying the daily data.
Turkey has administered more than 74.08 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in January, according to the ministry.
Over 41.23 million people have gotten their first dose, while more than 27.73 million are fully vaccinated. Turkey is also administering third COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, and over 5.1 million such doses have been given.
Meanwhile, the annual pre-harvest migration to Turkey’s eastern Black Sea region continues to worry health experts.
Experts suggested that the vaccination of agricultural workers must be completed, as well as the implementation of strict pandemic measures in the region, where thousands of field workers and producers from big cities are expected to come for the harvest season that will start on Aug. 8.
Faruk Aydın, a microbiologist from Karadeniz Technical University, said that every parameter that increases human movement has 100 percent effect on case positivity.
“The full vaccination of workers can be beneficial initiatives for this season. Otherwise, the increasing numbers in the region will continue to increase, Aydın said, adding that it is not possible to fight the virus by constantly making the same movements without changing the measures.
Trabzon Provincial Health Director Hakan Usta also stressed that those who come to the region during the nut harvest season should act by following the precautions.
“The cases are increasing in a way we do not want. Currently, our numbers are over 300, unfortunately, as a daily case. The factor in this is human movement, Usta said, noting that the cases have increased as a result of people contacting each other without implementing mask-wearing and social distancing rules.
Hurriyet Daily News