Corona case numbers are increasing rapidly: Turkish doctors warn of “tsunami”


Corona case numbers are increasing rapidly
Turkish doctors warn of “tsunami”

The health system in Turkey is reaching its limits. Doctors report that in some places patients wait days for a bed in the intensive care unit. There is a lack of equipment and staff. The government reacts with stricter measures. But the medical profession’s trust in the state has been shaken.
Turkey records a peak in daily corona deaths for the eighth day in a row. 188 people died within 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health. In addition, 31,219 new infections were recorded – also a high. In view of the rapidly increasing number of cases, Turkey is now tightening its corona restrictions significantly. Curfews would apply for the entire weekend from Friday, announced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.

The ban begins on Fridays at 9 p.m. and ends on Mondays at 5 a.m. But supermarkets are open at certain times. During the week there will be an evening curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. So far, there have only been evening curfews on weekends. Older people aged 65 and over and younger people under 20 are no longer allowed to use public transport. There would also be no New Year celebrations, said Erdogan. Only up to 30 people are allowed to attend funerals. These provisions apply from Tuesday.

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB), meanwhile, doubts the official government figures and expects at least 50,000 new cases every day. The association warned again that state hospitals were full. Government statements that only around 70 percent of the intensive care beds are occupied contradict the surveys of the TTB, according to a statement. “Patients sometimes wait days for a bed in an intensive care unit.” In some provinces, patients are treated in the corridors or canteens, but there are not enough staff and equipment to take care of them. The country is currently experiencing a “tsunami” that the TTB had been warning of for months.

The government has to make more places available in private and foundation hospitals for Covid patients, called the TTB. Private clinics have been declared pandemic hospitals. However, these proceed selectively and are associated with high costs for the patient. Last week, for the first time in months, the Turkish government announced the full number of cases of people in the country who tested positive for the coronavirus every day. Since the end of July, only the daily number of people infected with symptoms had previously been published.

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