Turkey, coronavirus risk map

Istanbul, a province with very high risk of contagion by coronavirus

The rate of infections by coronavirus in Istanbul has increased by 60% in the last week to exceed 178 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Istanbul, with about 16 million inhabitants, is already a de facto province with a very high risk of contagion by coronavirus due to the increase in the incidence rate of the virus in this province, the most populated in Turkey, according to the latest update of the COVID-19 risk map published regularly by the Health Ministry.

As reported through his official Twitter account by the Turkish Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, the provinces of Istanbul, Samsun, Kilis, Balıkesir and Yalova are the ones that have experienced a greater increase in the rates of coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants. In contrast, the provinces of Sakarya, Ordu, Amasya, Rize and Burdur are those where the incidence of the virus has decreased the most.

Previously, Koca had shared through his profile on the social network the most recent risk map on the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 in Turkey, which shows that in Istanbul the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants has increased by one 60% in the last 7 days to exceed 178, so the province of Istanbul should be categorised as very high risk and in red, according to the colour code used by the Ministry of Health.

The Turkish authorities however still keep Istanbul in the high risk category (orange); but several citizens have already replied to the minister via Twitter asking him why Istanbul is no longer classified as very high risk. The most plausible explanation is the fear of economic consequences, since declaring the province a very high-risk province would force the close schools, restaurants and cafes again, and to re-apply restrictions.

Ankara and İzmir also rise in virus infections

Cities like Ankara or İzmir have also experienced an increase in infection rates – 25% and 18%, respectively – but remain below an incidence of 100 (68.53 and 78.57, respectively), far away from the Istanbul data.

A total of 25 Turkish provinces are classified as very high risk of contagion of coronavirus, mainly in the Black Sea region and in the Marmara region (which includes Istanbul), while 17 of the 81 provinces of Turkey have minimal risk, mainly in south-eastern Anatolia.