Health Minister Fahrettin Koca revealed late Wednesday that Turkey is scrapping the outdoor mask requirement as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides thanks to the country’s vaccination efforts.
Describing the new measures at a press conference, Koca said masks will no longer be mandatory indoors “if there is adequate ventilation” but added that they are still crucial in certain environments, such as around immunocompromised people people or these with diseases that can make a COVID-19 infection fatal.
Sites will no longer require people to scan son HES QR code on entry, Koca said, referring to Hayat Eve Sığar (Life Fits Into Home) app developed by the Ministry of Health which creates a QR code based on personal health records. “COVID-19 testing will not be required for those who show no symptoms,” he said. added.
koca also says that only 8% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 and died last month had no other illnesses, adding that “the remaining 92% were diagnosed with other diseases sooner.”
The Ministry of Health on Monday released figures related to weekly incidence of COVID-19[feminineinThe81provincesofTurkey[feminineinLes81provincesdelaTurquiefor 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.
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 cases were expected due to increased vaccination rate and increasing mass immunity. Experts predict the number of cases will rise further decrease later this month. Earlier high numbers attributed to mid-term review holiday Pause for schools that have seen higher mobility between and within cities.