Gang in İstanbul provides false negative COVID-19 test results for travelers: report

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An illegal group in İstanbul is selling false negative COVID-19 test results to Turks in order to facilitate their abroad, according to a report in the Sözcü daily.

Due to the increasing number of coronavirus infections in Turkey, some countries such as Germany make it obligatory for people who want to travel there to submit negative coronavirus results from tests conducted 48 hours before they arrive in the country. Travelers are not allowed to board a plane without submitting negative results from a coronavirus test.

Two Turks who spoke to Sözcü without revealing their names told the paper that members of the gang contacted them through a friend, saying they provide negative COVID-19 results quickly without any test being conducted. These fraudulent results reportedly cost TL 50 (around $6).

This summer, 1,500 Turks who tested negative for coronavirus in Turkey tested positive immediately after their arrival in Germany.

The Turkish government 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 Wednesday, there were 2,391 coronavirus “patients” in Turkey over the past 24 hours, with 77 people dying from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 death toll in the country stands at 10,558, while the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units is 2,464.

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

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