Turkish medical group calls for putting private hospitals on COVID-19 frontline

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) said private hospitals should join efforts to combat the coronavirus as their public counterparts were unable to fully cope alone, Cumhuriyet newspaper said on Monday.

A spike in cases of the virus in Turkey comes as most private hospitals fail to admit COVID-19 patients or only accept 'selective patients', the TTB said in a statement.

"The facilities of private and charity hospitals should be made available to the citizens by the state," it said.

The TTB said intensive care unit (ICU) beds in state-run hospitals were almost full, with doctors struggling to find room for critically ill patients, even though the Turkish health minister said the ICU bed occupancy rate was at just over 70 percent.

On Sunday, Turkey reported 29,281 COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, while 185 people died after contracting the illness, setting a daily record for the seventh consecutive day.