The coronavirus pandemic has continued setting records in Turkey as the country on Monday identified 6,713 symptomatic patients and recorded 153 deaths over the past 24 hours, according to data from the Turkish Health Ministry.
The figures were the highest since the first coronavirus case was reported in Turkey in March.
The number of new daily cases is now at higher levels than during the outbreak’s previous peak in April.
Turkey does not publicly report confirmed coronavirus cases in people without COVID-19 symptoms, a policy that has been criticized for hiding the true scope of the outbreak.
The surge in the number of coronavirus cases in Turkey is pushing hospitals across the country to their limits.
Ali Karakoç, head of the Ankara Doctors’ Association, said all the hospitals in Ankara are occupied and that there are no beds left for new COVID-19 patients.
“Although the center of the pandemic is İstanbul, Ankara is going through hard times as well. We can’t find beds for new patients,” he told the Birgün daily.
Karakoç also said due to the lack of enough beds, coronavirus patients are told by hospital staff to go home, and they are called and hospitalized once there is an empty bed in the hospital.
Meanwhile, Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul branch head Canan Kaftancıoğlu, a medical doctor by profession, announced on Monday that the deaths of 201 people in İstanbul on Monday that went into municipal records as caused by a “contagious disease” were all COVID-19 cases.
“As a doctor I can tell you that all those 201 people had COVID-19. Do you know how I can prove that? These days there is no contagious disease other than COVID-19 that causes death. So, all those 201 people died of COVID-19. Let me go a step further. The actual number of coronavirus deaths in İstanbul is even higher,” said Kaftancıoğlu in televised remarks.
Despite the surge in the number of coronavirus infections in the country, the Turkish government refuses to take strict preventative measures to contain the pandemic. Evening lockdowns were introduced over the weekend for the first time since June, with businesses such as restaurants and bars ordered to close.
In the meantime, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that the ministry would recruit 12,000 healthcare personnel working in 14 areas of specialization in an attempt to help the country’s overwhelmed healthcare staff in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.