Istanbul’s doctors call for full lockdown

Turkey needs an urgent full lockdown of at least two weeks to stem spread of the coronavirus, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Medicine (İTO) Dr Pınar Saip told reporters on Friday.

“We lose 200 people every day to a preventable disease, that is tragic,” Dr Saip said, speaking at a silent protest for the increasing number of healthcare professionals who have died of COVID-19, Karar news website reported.

The chairwoman repeated Turkey’s doctors’ call to designate COVID-19 a work hazard, in order for doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare workers and medical staff in hospitals and emergency services to receive adequate compensation and protection.

“If we can’t remain standing, this pandemic won’t be able to be managed,” the doctor said.

Speaking at the same event, İTO Secretary General Dr Osman Küçükosmanoğlu said the coronavirus was spreading outward from Istanbul to the rest of the country.

Turkey has failed to manage the pandemic well, especially in Istanbul, Dr Küçükosmanoğlu said.

Following a meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board on Friday, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the number of active cases had been on the rise. “Increases in Istanbul, Bursa, Kocaeli, Kahramanmaraş and Denizli provinces pose a risk for all of Turkey,” Koca said.

Friday saw 32,736 new cases diagnosed, and 193 deaths recorded between Thursday and Friday raised Turkey’s overall death toll to 14,509.

 

Turkey's coronavirus figures for Dec. 4
Turkey's coronavirus figures for Dec. 4 source: http://covid19.saglik.gov.tr/

 

Turkey has recently gone back to stricter measures, including weekday curfews between 21:00 and 05:00 and partial lockdowns on weekends, with manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and agriculture workers and businesses exempted. A member of the advisory board said on Friday that further restrictions could become necessary in coming days unless infection rates drop soon.