Turkey recorded 16, 505 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest daily rise this year second day in a row, official data showed, as positive/test ratio climbed over 10%. Medical professional almost unanimously contend that the easing of social restrictions underway, dabbed “controlled normalization” is accentuating the transmission of the virus, with all major variants now amply diagnosed in the population.
Nevertheless, President Tayyip Erdogan said no new restrictions against the pandemic would be imposed for now, stating “we’ll have to see”. Erdogan acknowledged the recent rise in cases over the past two weeks since restrictions were eased in many provinces on March 1, when daily cases were just below 10,000 across Turkey. He said despite a rise in cases in some provinces, hospitalisations, and intensive care unit and intubation levels had not increased.
“We decided to continue the current practice in our cities in today’s meeting and to closely follow the developments,” Erdogan told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
Turkey eased pandemic measures two weeks ago on a province-by-province basis, and said the measures would be evaluated every two weeks.
Provinces are ranked on a scale of low to very high risk based on average daily cases per 100,000 people. Although average daily cases in some provinces have risen above the cut-off for their current risk group, no changes to the provinces’ status were announced.
“I think that our people were not able to show the necessary attention to abiding by the rules with the first excitement of normalisation,” Erdogan said.
“God willing, by acting much more consciously and carefully from now on, we will overcome this issue all together,” he added.
Turkey, with a population of 83 million, has administered about 11.5 million vaccine doses in a campaign that began in mid-January. More than 7.93 million people have received a first shot and nearly 3.57 million a second dose of the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.
Deliveries of new batches from China are delayed, though Ankara can’t proffer any specific reasons for the delay. Some analysts suspect attempts by center-right IYIP and small nationalist BBP to declare China employing genocide to Uighurs may have held back the deliveries. Turkey’s “national vaccine” will not be ready before the end of the year, while the Health Ministry’s official plan is to inoculate 50 million people, not sufficient to reach herd immunity by October.
Source: Reuters, ParaAnaliz, Haberdar.com
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