Ministry chart shows more than 1 mln COVID-19 recoveries in a single day in Turkey

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Turkey’s Health Ministry, which has been harshly criticized for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, has come under fire due to a chart showing that 1.1 million people recovered from COVID-19 in a single day.

A daily coronavirus information chart released by the ministry on Dec. 12 showed that a total of 1,581,565 people in Turkey had recovered from the coronavirus, with an increase in a single day of 1,123,456. With the new numbers, Turkey has become fifth in the world in terms of coronavirus recoveries.

Professor Kayıhan Pala of the Turkish Medical Association (TİB) told the Birgün daily that making scientific assessments from the Health Ministry’s charts is impossible due to their unreliability.

“There are serious differences between the charts they announced earlier and now. These charts are very problematic in terms of the [criteria] in international databases. The Health ministry has made a mess of data presentation,” said the professor.

Since Turkey reported its first coronavirus case in March, there have been suspicions that the daily numbers reported by the government about the course of the pandemic were far fewer than the real figures. In the wake of growing criticism, the Health Ministry only in late November began to report the number of all individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus, while it previously reported only the number of symptomatic “patients.”

The reporting of all coronavirus cases in Turkey, which number some 30,000 daily, caused the country jump from one of the least-affected countries to the eighth most affected in the world.

Former head of the TİB Professor Sinan Adıyaman also criticized the Health Ministry for the way it reported coronavirus cases and deaths.

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have called on them to tell the truth because it is no longer possible to hide the real numbers. The ministry first reported the number of [COVID-19) patients, then the number of cases. The more you tell lies, the more likely you are to mix up the truth with lies,” said Adıyaman.

In the meantime, the Health Ministry on Dec. 13 reported 26,919 new coronavirus infections and a death toll of 218 over the past 24 hours. The figures were relatively low compared to previous days. Many said the low number of infections was a result of the smaller number of tests conducted on that day, which stood at 181,199, while more than 200,000 had been conducted the previous day.

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