According to Turkey’s Health Ministry data, 2,102 new Covid-19 patients have been confirmed in Turkey and the country’s overall coronavirus patient count as of 22 October stood at 355,528.
The Ministry registered another 1,581 recoveries over the past day; it raised the tally to 310,027. It reported that 117,198 new tests were conducted and this brought the total number of tests to more than 12.8 million. The overall virus-linked death toll in Turkey reached 9,584, with 71 new fatalities reported. The number of patients in critical condition now stands at 1,599.
The Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, warned people to comply with health measures and wearing masks: “The most important challenge for our health care professionals is to treat seriously ill patients and reduce their numbers. Our part is far easier. Support the struggle [against the virus] by complying with the precautions, especially by wearing the mask”, he appealed to people in his social media account.
İstanbul is also at risk
Koca also arranged a meeting about the nature of the pandemic in İstanbul with the provincial governor, police chief, deputy ministers, provincial health director, field coordinators, and chief physicians. In the meeting, the measures to be taken against the ongoing rise of infection cases in İstanbul were discussed. Koca stated that: “The number of cases” of coronavirus infection “in İstanbul has made up 40 percent of the countrywide toll, reaching five times the number of cases in Ankara”.
Contact screening and the number of tests in İstanbul have increased. Koca also stated that: “In the fight against the pandemic, we currently do not have a stronger weapon than the [protective] measures you have to follow. The importance of the mask has increased. And we will face the toughest test against crowds”.
Turkey excludes asymptomatic cases from its daily count. The government only announces the number of ‘patients’ or cases with symptoms, and Minister Koca admitted that too.
COVID-19 patients at home feel abandoned
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) announced that there are currently 143,000 coronavirus patients who are being treated in their homes in Turkey, and 460,000 others are under mandatory home quarantine since they have come into contact with COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Emrah Kırımlı announced, on behalf of the TTB, that their figures were based on a survey conducted with family physicians across 75 provinces in Turkey. Kırımlı stated that some 14,373 coronavirus patients visit family physicians every day and that this number might increase. He stated that COVID-19 patients are being treated in their homes unless they exhibit severe symptoms such as serious shortness of breath or high fever.
He added that: “Symptoms such as severe pains, nausea and vomiting give the patients a hard time [who are treated at home]. Some of them already have other illnesses, so they do not know what they should do” once these symptoms appear. “Monitoring the patients from their homes is not easy for us or them. The patients feel left alone and abandoned, which pushes them to hopelessness”.