COVID-19 cases in two Turkish provinces exceed official data for entire region - doctor

Turkey is grappling with a far bigger calamity from the coronavirus than official figures and statements might suggest, Deutsche Welle reported citing data compiled by doctors on the ground.

The southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır and Urfa are each recording an average of some 300 new cases daily, but the Turkish authorities claim that infections in the entire region, which includes a total of nine provinces, are far less than that number, the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB)'s Diyarbakır branch Elif Turan said, according to DW.

"Our colleagues in the field give us different information. There are 300 new cases per day in Diyarbakır. Our friends in Urfa are talking about 300-350 new cases daily. Even the number of new daily cases in Diyarbakır and Urfa alone is much higher than the one announced for the whole region," Turan said.

Health Ministry daily data published on Monday showed 995 new cases of the coronavirus nationwide from 41,301 administered tests.

Turkey has been hit hard by the pandemic, and health experts say that infections and deaths may start to rise again. Lockdowns and restrictions on population movements were eased at the start of June. 

"Even though the COVID-19 outbreak was not fully under control, many restrictions were lifted, mainly due to economic concerns,” DW cited Hüseyin Yaviç, the head of TTB's branch in the eastern province of Van, as saying. “The number of daily cases had dropped, thanks to the measures, but started to increase again as life returned to normal."