Ankara inching toward 1,000 cases daily as hospitals reach full capacity - report

(Updates with Turkey's latest figures)

The daily number of coronavirus infections in the Turkish capital Ankara are inching close to 1,000, with intensive care units in the city’s hospitals reaching full capacity, the Ankara Medical Chamber said.

The sudden hike in cases has led to an inability by the city’s pandemic hospitals and intensive care units to accept patients, Duvar news site quoted the chamber as saying in a report on COVID-19 for the months of June and July.  

Following months of lockdowns, the Turkish authorities began easing nationwide coronavirus measures on June 1, prompting a surge in infections. Concerns regarding an increase in cases continue with the country’s Health Ministry on Monday saying a lack of precautions during the Eid al Adha weekend may lead to a further increase in cases throughout Turkey.

Over the holidays, travellers were observed defying social distancing and other protective measures in a number of vacation hotspots, prompting concern.

An average of 884 daily infections were recorded in Ankara between June 1-7, while this figure jumped to 923 between July 20-26, the chamber’s report said. 

Moreover, a total of 207 of the 10,000 COVID-19 tests were positive in the first week of June and this figure saw a 36 percent increase, to 282 during the week of July 20-26, it said.

Even during the height of the pandemic in April and May, there was only one infected patient per room in pandemic hospitals, but now there are two patients who tested positive for the novel virus in each room, the report added.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Tuesday said there was a “serious’’ number of new infections as he reported 1,083 new cases in his daily update on Twitter.

“This is the first instance in recent times that there is such a difference in (infection) numbers in two days,’’ Koca said, referring to yesterday’s positive cases, which totalled 995.

A total of 19 people died since Monday afternoon, according to the ministry.

“We must prevent the contact that occurred during Eid and the holidays from creating grave results,’’ he said.