Turkey’s daily infections around 60,000, says top medical association

The number of daily COVID-19 infections in Turkey is around 60,000, double the amount reported by the Health Ministry, said the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) on Tuesday.

Turkey has been unable to deal with the rising second wave of the coronavirus outbreak and is “governing people’s perception instead of the pandemic,” T24 news site cited TTB Central Committee Chairwoman Şebnem Korur Fincancı as saying.

Fincancı’s remarks arrive as Turkey implements new rules, including a weekday curfew and a full lockdown on weekends as daily COVID-19 cases surge to above 30,000 and daily deaths register over 180.

The TTB has criticized the new measures as inadequate, calling for shutdown of all manufacturing workplaces and shopping centres, among others.

Turkey’s infection figures catapulted last week, after the country started to include asymptomatic patients to its case reports for COVID-19.

“When we compare the number of patients with pneumonia figures, we see the gravity. There are no beds left in emergency rooms and people have reached the point where they are unable to access health services,” Fincancı said. 

“The number of daily cases at this time is around 60,000, in other words, twice the amount reported,” the TTB head added. “The perception (of the outbreak) is the thing that is managed, not the outbreak.” 

Fincancı reiterated a call for complete shutdown, where workers and people in need are compensated for their financial losses. 

“We have an obligation to protect human life,” she said. “This is our constitutional responsibility.”