Doctors may have to decide who gets care due to coronavirus surge: governor

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The governor of a northwestern Turkish province has warned that doctors in the city may soon be obliged to decide who gets COVID-19 treatment as the hospitals are overwhelmed due to a surge in the number of coronavirus patients, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

Kırklareli Governor Osman Bilgin said the intensive care units in the city’s hospitals are currently full and that doctors are overwhelmed by the constantly increasing number of COVID-19 patients.

Bilgin expressed concern that getting the pandemic under control in the city will be impossible if the number of coronavirus patients continues to rise at this pace.

According to the governor, the spread of the coronavirus in the city is mostly caused by visits among neighbors.

“I’m not saying, ‘Keep visits to your neighbors short.’ I’m saying, ‘Don’t make these visits.’ Fifty percent of the cases are caused by them,” said the governor, noting that the number of coronavirus cases is much higher than in April.

The governor also said the surge in coronavirus cases in the city may require the adoption of different measures to contain the pandemic.

The Turkish government refuses to declare a lockdown or take preventative measures to bring the pandemic under control. A partial lockdown declared in the spring months was lifted in June.

The Turkish government also does not reveal the exact number of people infected with the coronavirus every day. The Health Ministry instead announces the number of “patients” who are being treated in hospitals for COVID-19, while people who have been infected with the virus but not hospitalized are excluded from the numbers.

According to a chart released by the Turkish Health Ministry on Monday, there were 2,302 coronavirus “patients” in Turkey over the past 24 hours, with 76 people dying from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 death toll in the country stands at 10,402, while the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units is 2,341.

Turkey reported its first COVID-19 case on March 11.

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