coronavirus, virus test

Turkey is the 11th country that has carried out more coronavirus tests

In the last 24 hours, 1,671 new cases of coronavirus and 5 deaths have been detected. Infections in Istanbul have increased by 50%.

Turkey ranks 11th in the world ranking of countries that have performed the most coronavirus tests, with almost 12 million tests carried out since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. In this way, Turkey is placed on the list – led by China – ahead of countries such as the UAE, Canada or Australia, and behind Spain, Italy and France, which occupy the 8th, 9th and 10th place respectively.

The Turkish Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, also announced the start this Thursday of the second round of tests at the national level to establish the immunity acquired by the Turkish population against the new virus SARS-CoV-2; the first round was carried out last June among 150,000 randomly selected people, and determined that only 2.5 out of every 1,000 Turks had been infected by the virus.

As Koca explained during a press appearance held on Wednesday, in this second round, another 150,000 randomly chosen people will be tested in their homes; in these tests, blood and fluid samples are taken by swabs from randomly selected individuals to determine whether they have antibodies to the virus. “We will discover both those who are infected but are asymptomatic, as well as those who passed the disease and recovered without knowing it,” he said.

The minister also noted that the city of Istanbul had experienced a 50% increase in coronavirus infections compared to September, although answering to questions from journalists, Koca ruled out for now imposing new restrictions such as curfews or quarantines, since the increase in registered cases has occurred mainly in asymptomatic patients who are not meaning an increase in hospital burden.

In addition, while Istanbul has registered an increase in coronavirus cases, in the Turkish capital, Ankara, there has been a 60% decrease in infections. “We have seen it again and again. In Ankara, İzmir or Diyarbakır a few months ago. Wearing a mask, practising social distance, and our teams of trackers, can put the pandemic under control,” the minister stressed. “With each victory, we gain more ground in our fight against the pandemic, and we get closer to being able to return to our old lives. We will overcome this,” he said.