More than 1,000 people succumb to COVID-19 in Turkey every day, Mustafa Adıgüzel, a deputy from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and also a medical practitioner, claimed on Wednesday.
“The Health Ministry keeps lying. Only three provinces account for 315 COVID-19 deaths. On November 24, 211 in İstanbul, 73 in İzmir, and 31 in Ankara [died]. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 11,600 in İstanbul, 2,087 in İzmir, 2,923 in Ankara, 16,610 in total [for the three cities] have died,” Adıgüzel tweeted.
Adıgüzel cited data from cemeteries since mayors from the CHP supervise burial grounds in the three cities.
The opposition deputy claimed that all fatalities chalked up to “a contagious disease” were in fact, COVID deaths. The ministry does not record them as COVID fatalities if there is no test result showing the patient was positive at the time of death, said Adıgüzel.
“The data from 25 million people account for 315 [daily] deaths. For the whole country, the number is higher than 1,000,” Adıgüzel argued, adding that revealing the actual toll would propel Turkey up the list of COVID deaths per capita, giving the country the top spot.
Adıgüzel said a full-scale lockdown for 20 days is a must for the country.
The Health Ministry identified 28,351 coronavirus patients on Wednesday, announcing the number of cases instead of “patients” for the first time in months.
Turkey had not publicly reported confirmed coronavirus cases in people without COVID-19 symptoms until Wednesday, a policy that has been criticized for hiding the true scope of the outbreak.
The daily coronavirus death toll in the country over the past 24 hours stood at 168, according to ministry data.