Istanbul, lockdown due to coronavirus

Turkey does not plan new lockdowns due to coronavirus

Turkish government rules out further restrictions and confinements, but insists on the importance of vaccination to contain the pandemic.

Turkey does not plan new lockdowns due to the coronavirus, contrary to what is already happening in Europe, said yesterday the Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca, who nonetheless insisted on the “great importance of individual precautions… and especially vaccination“. This, despite the fact that the pandemic seems to have regained strength in the old continent, and that the rate of infections remains high in Turkey.

Responding to questions from journalists after a meeting of the cabinet of ministers in the presidential palace of Ankara, when asked if there was provision for new restrictions and confinements in Turkey on the government’s agenda, Koca declared that nothing like this had been planned for now or in the future.

“In this new period in Turkey, we do not plan to manage the pandemic with closures. In the new period, we attach great importance to personal precautions and, especially, to vaccination,” the minister insisted. “We believe that it is very important that everyone gets vaccinated,” he added.

Asked about advances in treatments such as the antiviral pill molnupiravir, which is believed to be effective in COVID-19 patients, Koca noted that his ministry had received an application for a license to produce molnupiravir in Turkey. “Our goal is to make molnupiravir available to our citizens as soon as possible… by producing it at the lowest possible price,” he said.

Doubts about vaccines against COVID-19

The minister also referred to the doubts among many citizens about vaccines, especially on the use of several doses, since a high percentage of the Turkish population has only taken the first dose; in this regard, Koca recalled that on this, the COVID-19 vaccine is not different from others, and that it is necessary to put booster doses. “The vaccine has a protection period, it can be 6 months, 8 months or 12 months,” he clarified.

For this reason, and although for now no new lockdowns are foreseen in Turkey against the coronavirus, the head of the Turkish health ministry  insisted on the importance of getting vaccinated, and on doing it with the full schedule. “Those who have not completed their doses should do so, because we see that although the infection rate in those over 60 is 17.1%, their mortality rate is 85.7%… I want to reiterate how important is get vaccinated”, the minister sentenced.