Istanbul during the COVID pandemic

COVID infections are reduced in Istanbul

Experts are worried about the spread of the new Omicron variant, and because many people have not received a booster dose of the vaccine.

The number of COVID infections in Istanbul has decreased in recent weeks, according to data on the pandemic presented this Monday by the Turkish Ministry of Health, which indicates that the Turkish metropolis is behind cities such as Ankara or İzmir in terms of coronavirus contagion rate.

Thus, the figures provided by the Turkish health authorities indicate that while the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is 889 in Istanbul, in the country’s capital, Ankara, that figure increases to 1,003, while in the third largest city populated in Turkey, İzmir, reaches 961 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, also above the contagion rate in Istanbul.

Although these data correspond to the registry of infections in the last week of January, it should be noted that in the previous week, the contagion rate in Istanbul was 1,245 cases per 100,000 inhabitants: so, a downward trend in the spread of the virus can be confirmed in the largest city in Turkey.

Even so, experts remain concerned about the spread of the new Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which, although it is showing a lower lethality and hospitalisation rate, in recent days has raised infections throughout Turkey above 100,000 daily cases. Two days ago, it was known that President Erdoğan himself had tested positive for coronavirus, precisely infected by the Omicron variant.

Concerns are specially focused on the high number of people in Turkey who have not received the booster doses of the vaccine, necessary to protect themselves against this new strain. Despite the fact that COVID infections have decreased in Istanbul, in recent days there has been an increase in infections in Turkish provinces such as Elazığ, Uşak, Iğdır, Tokat, Kırklareli, Rize, Kırıkkale, Isparta, Bayburt or Manisa. In this way, the number of provinces in Turkey with a contagion rate equal to or greater than 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, now rises to 74.