Turkey, map of the coronavirus pandemic (November 25, 2020)

Several cities in Turkey going through the 3rd wave of the coronavirus pandemic

Istanbul, İzmir, Bursa and İzmit are going through the 3rd wave of the pandemic. Daily infections now exceed 28,000, including asymptomatics.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca acknowledged late on Wednesday while providing the latest data on the COVID-19 pandemic that several provinces in the country, including Istanbul and İzmir, are indeed going through the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to these two provinces – the first and third most populous in the country – other provinces such as Bursa and İzmit are also experiencing the third wave of the pandemic, so the minister once again insisted that it is necessary for citizens to comply with hygiene measures and social distance, especially since the infection data began to worsen from the second week of October.

In this sense, Koca warned that if the measures are not complied with and the cases of coronavirus continue to increase, it will be inevitable to apply even more severe restrictions than those already adopted last week with the reintroduction of curfews, while announcing the implementation of new and more strict inspections in crowded spaces, especially in public transport.

Turkey begins counting asymptomatic cases

The most significant fact of the minister’s appearance yesterday was, however, the announcement that from now on the Turkish government will begin to include the cases of asymptomatic infected people when offering the figures of new positives of coronavirus in Turkey, so the number of infected went in 24 hours from being below 8,000 new daily cases to exceeding 28,000.

“From now on we are going to reveal all the asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the daily report,” Koca announced, offering as every day the data of the last 24 hours of the pandemic in Turkey, where until now the authorities only notified the number of cases of coronavirus positive patients with symptoms who were receiving treatment.

“The daily number of positive cases (in the last 24 hours) is 28,351, of which 6,814 are in isolation, with monitoring and treatment by health institutions, and the death toll is 168,” Koca said when announcing the updated data. “The number of cases has increased by 50% in 15 provinces compared to last week,” he warned.

Turkey acquires 50 million doses of Chinese vaccine

The minister also announced yesterday the signing of a contract to acquire 50 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech, which will arrive in the country between December and February, according to Koca.

“If everything goes well, we plan to gradually start vaccination in risk groups, starting with our health personnel,” said the Turkish Health Minister, who confirmed that the vaccines will be totally free. Ankara is also in negotiations with other countries that have developed a coronavirus vaccine, including Russia.