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TTB estimates show daily number of Turkey’s coronavirus infections at 87,000

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As the Turkish government does not reveal the total number of daily coronavirus infections in the country, a member of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has estimated the daily COVID-19 cases, based on a chart from the Health Ministry, to be at 87,263 for Nov.16.

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.

The chart, which also shows how many coronavirus patients are in intensive care and how many have recovered, indicated that 3.8 percent of those who tested positive for coronavirus also developed pneumonia.

Commenting on the daily chart from the Health Ministry, İbrahim Akkurt, a member of the TTB central council, explained: “As a pulmonologist of 35 years, as a physician and as someone in the field, when I do basic calculations over the 3.8 percent to reach 100 percent, I find the daily number of coronavirus infections [on Nov.16] to be 87,263. Is the number of the daily coronavirus cases this frightening number?”

According to Monday’s chart, Turkey conducted 151,516 tests and identified 3,316 coronavirus “patients” while 94 people died of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.

The chart showed the occupancy rate of the country’s hospitals at 54.7 percent and the occupancy rate of intensive care units for adult care at 70.8 percent. There are a total of 417,594 coronavirus “patients,” while the coronavirus death toll has reached 11,601, according to the chart.

However, Akkurt also has suspicions about the accuracy of the daily coronavirus death toll in Turkey, which is another subject of debate as the Turkish government is accused of hiding the real numbers in order to not reveal the true extent of the pandemic.

“Did 94 people really die [of COVID-19] today?” he asked, recalling a statement from İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, who said last week that the total number of people who died of a contagious disease in İstanbul in a single day was 164.

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.

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