Istanbul, coronavirus pandemic

Turkey plans new measures in the face of alarming increase in infections

Experts warn that current measures are not enough to stop the infections and that “the worst days are yet to come.”

The alarming increase in infections that Turkey is experiencing marked yesterday a new record with 54,740 new positive cases of coronavirus registered in the last 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which already rises to 3.63 million the number of people infected to date in the country.

According to data provided by the Turkish Ministry of Health, in the last 24 hours there were also another 276 deaths in the country, which is also the highest death toll since the beginning of the pandemic, and which already increases the total number of deaths from the new SARS-CoV-2 virus to 32,943.

The cases have not stopped growing since the government announced in early March the relaxation of the main restrictions, and despite the fact that Turkey is one of the countries that has vaccinated the largest proportion of its population: more than 10.55 million Turks have already received the first dose of the Sinovac or Pfizer vaccine, and 7.41 million have also received the second.

Faced with the constant increase in infections, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced new restrictions last week, including the reintroduction of curfews in the highest-risk provinces, which will be extended to the entire country during the month of Ramadan -that begins on April. next April 13.

Family and public transport, sources of contagion

The point is that, according to official data, more contagious variants of the virus such as the British one already account for 75% of all new infections in Turkey. In fact, Turkish experts are already proposing stricter measures to try to bend the contagion curve, which could include a full closure during Ramadan, since they consider that weekend curfews are not enough and “the worst days are yet to come“.

One factor of particular concern to physicians and virologists is the rapid spread of new strains of the virus within households or families; before, if a family member contracted the coronavirus, 1 or 2 more cases could appear in family environment: now, however, they become all infected. They also draw attention to the appearance of new COVID-19 symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, chills, or loss of appetite.

In addition to intra-family infections caused by the new strains, crowds in premises and especially in public transport are another important transmission factor. What most of the experts consulted agree on is that the new measures announced by the government are not enough to stop the alarming increase in infections in Turkey, and that daily infections will continue to increase in the coming weeks to around 70,000 per day.