The Ministry of Health on Monday released figures related to weekly incidence of COVID-19[femininein81provinces[femininein81provincesof Turkey, for the week between February 12 and February 18. Numbers show a parent decline in cases per 100,000 people. Istanbul, the most populous cityreported just 617 cases per 100,000 when that number was around 1,216 for the capital Ankara and about 776 for the third plus grand city Izmir.
Istanbul had 717 cases in the first week of February while Ankara and Izmir had 1,323 and 1,017 cases respectively.
Amasya, a Black Sea province, had the distinction of being both the province with the highest number of case with 1961 and the province with the steepest climb. provinces in the black Sea region overall had the highest number of cases, compared to other regions of the country, with the majority being in the eastern parts of the region reporting weekly cases above 1,000 per 100,000, including Amasya’s neighbors Samsun and Tokat, which had 1,606 and 1,336 cases respectively.
The ten provinces with the biggest increases were Amasya, Kırşehir, Aksaray, Denizli, Yozgat, Çorum, Samsun, Tunceli, Eskişehir and Artvin. Sparsely populated provinces in eastern Turkey, again, reported the lowest weekly cases. Bingöl had the lowest incidence, with about 74 cases per 100,000, while Antalya had the distinction of being the only province in the rest of the country with weekly cases below 150.
Turkey was challenged by the omicron variant, which contributed to a strong rise in the number of daily cases since January. After breaking daily records last months, the country seems to be sinking into a new phase in the pandemic, with a decline in daily cases. On Sunday, daily cases fell to around 69,000, a far cry from more over 111,000 in at the beginning of February. A decline in the cases were something to be expected, thanks to the increase in vaccination rate and increasing mass immunity. Experts predict that the number of cases decrease later this month, while the high numbers earlier this month were attributed to a mid-term review holiday Pause for schools that have seen higher mobility between and within cities.
Professor Tevfik Özlü, member of the Department of Health’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, said that although the virus is “losing its force”, he is always “deadly.” Indeed, the daily deaths remain high despite the decline in case. Death rarely decrease below 200 and were reported as 206 on Sunday. Total deaths since start of the pandemic in the country in March 2020 exceeded 91,000.
Özlü told the Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Monday that although the pandemic is no longer what it once was, the public should don’t think it’s over. “We still have to be careful. We can overcome it with the slightest damage if we take personal measures to protect ourselves and the people about us”, he said. Özlü added summer would be better in terms of case car infections tend to decrease in times when people spend more time outdoors.
“We have to be careful and wear our masks and keep our distance. You should do not spend lots of time indoors if you are in a crowded place,” advised Özlü.
He added that the pandemic was more manageable now and life was more standardized. “You don’t have to stay home now but you should act in social responsibility rules and be careful not to infect others,” he stressed.
Turkey matters on its vaccination program which has reached more over 145 millions doses since son launch in 2021. The number of people with two doses of the vaccine exceeds 52.8 millions while 27 millions additional were administered with a third dose of the vaccine. The Ministry of Health urges public to get their booster shots in two doses of vaccines are considered insufficient for full protection against infection.