Turkish broadcaster TELE1 has announced that it will no longer report on the daily coronavirus chart from the Turkish Health Ministry because it does not include accurate information about the course of the pandemic in the country.
Every day, the Health Ministry announces in a chart 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.
Ever since Turkey reported its first coronavirus case on March 11, the Turkish government has been criticized for lacking transparency in its handling of the pandemic.
TELE1’s decision was announced by Murat Taylan, who presents the evening news for the TV station.
“We refuse to be part of a suspicious activity by presenting a chart that everyone knows to be flawed but remains silent about it. We refuse to report about a made-up daily coronavirus patient number, which exists nowhere else in the world. We refuse to report on the flawed coronavirus death toll, which is reached by hiding the deaths of many, saying they died of a contagious disease,” said Taylan.
The TV presenter also called on other media outlets not to report on the Health Ministry’s coronavirus chart in order not to mislead the public.
“There is only one thing to do: Ask the health minister to reveal the real coronavirus data,” he added.
In October Health Minister Fahrettin Koca made a bombshell revelation, saying that the government does not add the number of people infected with the coronavirus who are asymptomatic to the final statistics, prompting outrage among the Turkish public.
Answering a question from a reporter at a daily press briefing on COVID-19 numbers, Koca said: “Not every coronavirus case is a COVID-19 patient. Some do not show symptoms. We do not publish the number of cases. We publish the number of patients.”
Koca’s admission came after the disclosure of official documents by a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) who said official data records case numbers 20 times higher than what is being announced to the public.