Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening that Turkey will experience a gradual decline in the number of Covid-19 cases next based on the week on their projections. Koca said a more important decline is planned in the next “two to three weeks.”
Koca’s remarks came amid a record ascend in daily cases and an escalation number of deaths due to the omicron variant. Although daily cases have decreased below 100,000 after a few days earlier this month, the numbers are still fluctuating around a level record for the country.
the minister said cases peaked as of last weekend and they would decrease. “The burden of the pandemic on hospitals go also decrease. We currently see a drop through up at 30% in hospitalizations. The number of people in intensive care also decreased by 15%,” he noted.
Answer a question on if Turkey would be follow combination with some Europeans countries who have begun lifting COVID-19 restrictions, Koca said they will notify the public on the issue at a press conference next week, as well as a decision “on the moment of lift the mask rule.”
Media had earlier reported that Turkey may lift the mask requirement rule in Summer. The rules were relaxed earlier for wearing masks of protection outside if the wearer adheres to social distancing rules but masks are still mandatory in indoor and crowded venues. These are among the few restrictions left Turkey’s strict anti-pandemic measures. After a 17 day lockdown last year, the country has gradually lifted most restrictions, including curfews. The deletion was related to the expansion of the vaccine program who helped keep the number of weak case. But the omicron variant, spreading faster than previous strains, has raised concerns in end of 2021 as cases started to climb. However, the variant poses a risk alone for elderly, unvaccinated and people with chronic diseases, according to experts, car most people to recover with mild symptoms.
the minister also said they were shipping more doses of Turkovac, the country within developed inactive vaccine more hospitals across the country. He said 800,000 doses had been shipped to hospitals so far and the vaccine would be available in more vaccination sites soon. “We’re going soon ship an average of 2 to 2.5 millions doses per month,” he added, noting demand was high for Turkovac. He said that a thorough study on The effectiveness of Turkovac against the omicron variant was also should be concluded in March.