Istanbul’s mayor tests positive for COVID-19

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has tested positive for COVID-19 and is receiving treatment at a hospital, the municipality’s spokesman Murat Ongun tweeted on Saturday.

“I am well for now,” İmamoğlu said in a tweet. “Take care of your health and mind the measures, I love you all.”

The opposition mayor went to the hospital on Friday with a high fever, where he was tested. He was admitted but his fever has dropped.

Istanbul’s Governor Ali Yerlikaya wished İmamoğlu a swift recovery in a phone call.

İmamoğlu had protested not being invited to a pandemic assessment meeting in Istanbul earlier on Friday. Governorate sources told reporters that the mayor had not been invited because the meeting was organised last minute.

“Are we to be excluded from last minute meetings?” İmamoğlu had asked. “The people will see this, and they will hold you to account.”

Chambers of medicine, pharmacists, dentists and veterinaries were also excluded from the meeting that Yerlikaya, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, and Istanbul police chief Zafer Aktaş attended.

Koca said later in the day that the country’s coronavirus epidemic had seen two peaks in major provinces, in April and September, while smaller cities in Anatolia were in the middle of a second peak following a one in September.

“In the second week of October, we are facing a bigger test in the face of the pandemic. The risk has grown in the last few days,” Koca said.

On Friday, the Health Ministry announced 2,165 new patients and 74 deaths, with intensive care units and ventilators 65.2 percent and 32.1 percent full respectively.

Turkey has seen 9,658 deaths since the pandemic first took hold in March, according to ministry figures. There are currently 1,648 people who are severely ill.

Turkey's coronavirus figures for Oct. 23
Turkey's coronavirus figures for Oct. 23 source: