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Scientist warns of possible rough coronavirus winter for Turkey

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Professor Levent Akın, a member of Turkey’s scientific board advising the government on COVID-19, has expressed concern about a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, warning that Turkey might have a rough winter in its fight against the pandemic.

In remarks that appeared in the Habertürk daily on Thursday, Akın said the latest statistics on coronavirus cases show that there is an urgent need for serious preventive measures to be taken.

“We have unfortunately come to this stage. We’re going to have a rough winter, and everyone should be ready for this. It looks like November and December will be the most difficult months,” Akın warned.

The professor called on people to stay home unless there is an urgent need to go outside.

“The situation is just that worrisome,” he said.

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.

“We are under a big threat. The number of cases is surging across Turkey just like cases around the world. The current situation is not good anywhere. Signs of exhaustion have begun to be seen among healthcare workers. The government should take steps to address this exhaustion,” said the professor.

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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