Turkey registers 25 new deaths as health minister rules out second wave of pandemic

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Sunday said he did not expect a new wave of COVID-19 in the country as he announced 25 new deaths linked to the deadly virus.

Koca called on citizens to continue practicing protective measures against the pandemic as he pointed to the decline in the number of intubated patients.

“I do not expect a new wave, ” Diken news site quoted Koca as saying.

But “Erasing the effects of this disease in Turkey will not be easy until the global outbreak ends. Because Turkey is a country with close ties to Europe,’’ Koca added. 

According to official figures, 839 out of the 35,600 people tested since Saturday evening have been diagnosed with COVID-19, in line with a downward trend in the pandemic in Turkey in recent weeks.

A total of 989 patients have recovered from the virus since Saturday.

Meanwhile, the number of patients who are intubated and in intensive care units continued to drop, to 287 and 648 respectively.

The latest figures bring Turkey’s total case number to over 163,000 and death toll to 4.540.

Turkey is preparing to relax pandemic restrictions on June 1, starting with easing travel regulations between cities and the opening of restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities.

The head of Turkey’s leading medical association on Sunday warned against the spread of COVID-19 from the country’s epicentre of Istanbul as the government prepares to lift the travel ban.