Turkey, contagion of coronavirus

Turkey asks WHO if it is ready for a 2nd wave of the coronavirus

Turkey exceeds one million coronavirus tests, ranking 7th worldwide, and thanks to new treatments applied to patients, it has reduced the mortality rate to just 2.64%.

Turkey‘s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has asked the World Health Organization (WHO) if it is prepared for a possible second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, a question that was put on the table during the weekly teleconference held on Thursday chaired by WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Although those responsible for the WHO did not immediately respond to the question raised by the Turkish minister because the answers to all the questions raised by the attendees will be sent in writing later, Tedros did ask caution to the countries that have already started their plans of de-escalation.

During the conference call, Koca also informed participants from other countries about the efforts in the fight against the virus carried out by Turkey, which has already passed the million tests carried out (1,033,617 until Thursday), placing the Eurasian country in 7th place worldwide in terms of number of coronavirus tests performed.

In addition, Koca explained that treatments in Turkey -where the number of recovered patients is already close to 50,000- against COVID-19 disease are working, and that the number of new positive cases continues to drop. Turkey is also one of the countries with the lowest mortality rate in the world due to the coronavirus (only 2.64%, almost half that of Germany), with 3,174 confirmed deaths for 120,204 registered infections.

Alternative treatments in Turkey against COVID-19 work

Unlike in other countries -including Spain– in Turkey doctors do not advise those who have mild symptoms to stay at home, but rather ask them to go to hospitals for treatment, and they administer chloroquine -an antimalarial drug which has given good results- to suspected cases while waiting for the test results.

Another difference regarding the methodology used in Turkey for the treatment of the virus is that in addition to chloroquine, azithromycin -an antibiotic– is used during the early stages of treatment. Turkish doctors also administer another antiviral, Favipiravir, in the early stages, which has already been used in China with tubed patients.

Other treatments used in Turkey include pressurised oxygen therapy for patients with respiratory problems in the early stages of treatment, which has helped reduce deaths from respiratory failure. Finally, in cases of severe respiratory problems in Turkey, patients are laid face down on their beds, a simple method that has also been very effective and has been copied by other countries.

Thanks to these treatments during the early stages of the disease, the number of pneumonia cases among coronavirus patients in Turkey has dropped from 60% to 12%, and the mortality rate of patients in intensive care has fallen to 10 %, as explained by the minister, who indicated that the peak of the pandemic in Turkey was reached 30 days after registering the first contagion in mid-March.