Turkey coronavirus infections out of control - professor

A professor at Istanbul University’s School of Medicine said the coronavirus was likely out of control in Turkey and deaths from the disease could soon be on a par with Italy or Spain, the Diken news site reported on Tuesday.

The Health Ministry said on Monday that 168 people had died with the virus in Turkey and 10,827 people had been confirmed as infected, but the Turkish Medical Association said the real number of cases was likely far higher.

Zeki Kılıçaslan, a professor of pulmonology at the School of Medicine of Istanbul University, said coronavirus infections were increasing rapidly.

“The rate of increase in Turkey is alarming. The recent data on cases and death tolls shows that the situation is out of control in Turkey," Kılıçaslan said.

"I am afraid, Turkey will be like Italy or Spain, where the daily death toll is in the hundreds.”

The reasons behind the fast pace of increase is an insufficient number of tests and the government's late response to the pandemic as it spread rapidly in neighbouring Iran, where it has claimed more than 2,500 lives.

"The necessary radical measures have not been taken from the moment this crisis began to accelerate in Iran," Kılıçaslan said.

Turkey's test numbers are low and even health workers have not been tested regularly for the coronavirus, he said.