Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has announced that there has been a rise by a factor of 40 in the daily number of coronavirus infections in the country, although he ruled out the imposition of a lockdown.
Koca said following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening that the rise in the number of coronavirus cases has led to a three-fold increase in the workload of hospitals but that there is currently no significant increase in the intensive care patients.
In early summer, Turkish authorities lifted all the country’s COVID-19-related international travel restrictions and most of the domestic measures including the obligation to wear a face mask indoors.
The minister called on people to get boosted, adding that Turkey has a sufficient number of vaccines and medication to be used in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus and that as a result, the government isn’t considering a lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
Turkey has announced several lockdowns since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the country in March 2020.
As of June 1, when the number of daily coronavirus infections fell below 1,000 in Turkey, the health ministry stopped announcing daily coronavirus figures and began to report infections weekly.
Koca’s Tuesday statement prompted Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı, the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), to question what the minister means by a “40 times” increase in coronavirus infections.
“In compared to when, a 40-times increase? If it is according to the latest weekly reported figure of 117,095, that makes for a daily number of 669,114, esteemed minister,” Fincancı tweeted, tagging Koca on Twitter.
The TTB has been criticizing the Turkish government due to what it calls its poor management of the pandemic, lacking transparency and not taking the necessary measures to avoid the preventable deaths of thousands of people.
According to official figures, around 100,000 people have died in Turkey since the start of the pandemic.