Turkey declares private hospitals ‘pandemic hospitals’

The Turkish Ministry of Health issued a memorandum on Friday declaring all private hospitals that meet the criteria as “pandemic hospitals” to support the public health system’s efforts against the coronavirus, Hürriyet newspaper reported.

The ministry said hospitals would become pandemic hospitals if they employed at least two doctors who specialised in either infectious diseases, pulmonology or internal diseases, and had the necessary equipment in their intensive care units (ICU).

A clinic and an intensive care unit will be designated in each pandemic hospital to be reserved for COVID-19 patients, according to the memorandum sent to 81 provincial health directorates.

Oncology, haematology and radiation oncology clinics, as well as organ and bone marrow transplant centres, will run uninterrupted as much as possible, the memorandum said.

There have been nine deaths due to the COVID-19 coronavirus in Turkey to date, with the number of confirmed cases rising to 670, Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca announced late on Friday night.

Turkey tested 3,656 suspected patients for coronavirus on Friday, according to Koca, who said he expected the number of coronavirus diagnoses to reach a peak in two to three weeks.