The latest survey results released by the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) show that the number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey has increased by half over last month, from around 6,500 daily cases to around 9,500, at a time when the country is expected to gradually ease restrictions.
The survey was conducted by the TTB family medicine branch between Feb. 8 and 14, on 765 family doctors from 65 Turkish provinces.
According to the results, which were shared by TTB family medicine branch member Emrah Kırımlı, the number of people tested for the virus has also declined by 28 percent within the last month.
Seventy-five percent of all family healthcare staff has been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, up from 68 percent, Kırımlı also said.
Turkey is expected to gradually ease coronavirus restrictions as of March 1, but a variety of restrictions, including curfews on weeknights and partial weekend lockdowns, are still in effect.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Friday announced on Twitter that Bayburt, Erzincan, Trabzon, Karabük and Hatay saw the largest weekly decline in the number of COVID-19 cases, with 21.98, 34.13, 207.54, 16.83 and 45.50 cases per 100,000 people, respectively.
The provinces of Ordu, Giresun, Samsun, Tokat and Bolu saw the largest weekly increase in coronavirus cases in the same period, with 228.4, 217.51, 202.94, 149.2 and 74.61 cases per 100,000 people, respectively.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been at the center of criticism lately for holding crowded indoor rallies in complete disregard of COVID-19 restrictions.
Significant surges in coronavirus cases were observed last week in İstanbul, Sakarya, Erzurum, Tokat, Malatya, Balıkesir and Niğde, where the ruling AKP had held indoor gatherings, Health Ministry data showed earlier this week.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who bragged about how packed the crowd was while giving a speech at an AKP convention in Rize, drew criticism for his double standards as restrictions do not allow businesses to remain open or people to hold funeral or wedding ceremonies in groups of over 30 people.
Critics say the AKP government is using the pandemic as an excuse to ban protests against them but is flouting the measures when it comes to serving its own agenda.
As of Feb. 27, Turkey had confirmed more than 2.68 million COVID-19 cases, 28.432 fatalities and over 2.55 million recoveries. The country reported 74 more fatalities in the last 24 hours, in addition to 9,205 new cases.