Turkey needs more concrete measures against COVID-19, minister says

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said infections and deaths from the COVID-19 virus were on the rise globally, and Turkey would need stricter measures to curb the spread of the virus, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Monday.

“We have analysed in detail the necessary restrictive measures, pointing out that the primary factor in the rise in cases is people’s mobility and presence in mass gatherings, and decided to advise to implement concrete measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” Koca said.

The minister did not provide details of the measures to be implemented.

Local authorities in Istanbul announced extra steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 on Tuesday, including the closure of museums. All cultural, arts and sporting facilities will be shut down and in-person vocational courses will be postponed beginning on Thursday, the Istanbul municipality said.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said on Saturday that the government had been too slow to react to an uptick in cases. He said death rates had risen to the highest level since the outbreak of the pandemic in March. İmamoğlu said Istanbul’s cemeteries had recorded 164 deaths due to infectious disease on Nov. 14, while the same day saw 92 COVID-19 deaths nationwide according to official figures.

Turkey reported 3,316 new COVID-19 patients on Monday and 94 deaths. The total number of active cases rose to 49,618. Turkey has lost 11,601 people to the pandemic to date, including 63 doctors and 90 other healthcare workers.

Turkey's coronavirus figures for Nov. 16
Turkey's coronavirus figures for Nov. 16. Source: https://covid19.saglik.gov.tr/