Istanbul doctors call for emergency steps as COVID-19 cases extend record high
Turkey reported almost 55,000 new daily COVID-19 infections, the highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic in March last year.
A recent upsurge in cases prompted the Istanbul Medical Chamber to call for emergency measures on Wednesday, saying that the number of new infections has increased ten-fold in the last six weeks.
COVID-19 cases hit a daily 54,750 yesterday and the total number of infections in the country of 85 million rose to 3.63 million, the Health Ministry said. It reported 276 new fatalities, pushing up the death toll to 32,943.
The Istanbul Medical Chamber, an association that represents doctors in the city urged the government to perform more tests and rapid vaccinations, as well as ensure that those who are infected isolate properly.
Infections in Turkey have surged after the authorities eased restrictions on the population on March 1, when daily cases stood at less than 10,000. The government lifted weekend lockdowns in areas deemed at low and medium risk and allowed restaurants and cafes to reopen, including in Istanbul, the country’s largest city.
Some of the curbs have been reinstated. Full weekend lockdowns will be in force during the holy month of Ramadan, which starts on April 13, when restaurants will be open just for takeaway and delivery.
Some 10.6 million people have received a first vaccination against COVID-19 under a programme that started in mid-January, while 7.45 million second doses have been administrated, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.