Turkey grapples with COVID-19 surge in 3 cities amid vaccine hope

Turkey grapples with COVID-19 surge in 3 cities amid vaccine hope

The coronavirus outbreak is bearing down on Turkey despite strict measures and restrictions. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca singled out the southern province of Adana and the northern provinces of Samsun and Ordu as places with a 100% rise in cases in the past two weeks, while the western province of Izmir and the central province of Konya registered a 50% increase in cases in the same period, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.

“Health care staff and hospitals in those provinces are under a heavy burden,” Koca tweeted late Wednesday after a meeting with local health authorities. “Our test of sacrifice continues in the fight against the outbreak,” Koca said.

The autumn has been particularly devastating so far for the country, which is going through what experts call a second wave of the outbreak. The total number of patients exceeded 513,000, while fatalities rose to 14,129. Some 414,141 patients have recovered since the outbreak made its foray into Turkey in March. The country also increased the number of tests to more than 18.9 million.

Turkey rolled out a series of measures in the past weeks, including a partial weekend curfew that was extended to a full weekend lockdown this week. On weekdays, a curfew was imposed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Schools, restaurants, cafes and several businesses were ordered to shut down. Local pandemic boards in each of the 81 provinces also started introducing new restrictions like limited access to crowded streets and squares.

Samsun Gov. Zülkif Dağlı said in a written statement Wednesday that they were concerned with the current outlook. “It appears that the caseload on hospitals is heading toward an unbearable point. We increased intensive care unit bed capacities and plan to use hospitals in small districts more actively. If the current trends continue and people ignore the rules, we will have serious problems soon,” he warned.

Samsun Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mustafa Demir said the city has long recorded new patients below the country's average but faces a new rise in the number. “It appears that it is related to the secretly infectious,” Demir told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Thursday, referring to asymptomatic cases. “We repeatedly warn citizens and hope numbers will drop again,” Demir said. He noted that some 40 people working for the municipality tested positive and another 40 were in quarantine for coming into contact with infected people.

The mayor also linked the rise to Samsun’s location as a main hub of transportation in the wider Black Sea region which receives a large number of visitors from other regions. “We also see high infection rate among people from the same families and relatives,” he pointed out.

In Adana, sights of people not wearing protective masks are still common although the province struggles to fight against the outbreak by expanding intensive care services, and long lines are seen outside hospitals for COVID-19 tests. Local authorities repeatedly issue warnings from loudspeakers at mosques, calling on the public to adhere to mask, social distancing and hygiene rules.

VACCINE ROAD MAP

Authorities now largely rely on the public’s compliance with measures. Masks and social distancing are mandatory and law enforcement officers routinely conduct patrols to issue warnings and fines to violators. For now, a vaccine remains the best hope of the country to get rid of the pandemic.

The government unveiled a four-stage vaccination plan late Wednesday, which is set to start after Dec. 11. In the first stage, health care workers, senior citizens, people with disabilities and people living in crowded environments will be inoculated. In the second stage, people working in crucial jobs like law enforcement, those living in high-risk environments and people above the age of 50 who have at least one chronic disease will be vaccinated. The rest of the population will be vaccinated in the subsequent stages based on the grade of risk they are exposed to.

Turkey will receive at least 10 million doses of the vaccine this month, and the number will increase gradually in the following months. Although authorities did not disclose the name of the vaccine, the country had previously made an agreement with China to purchase 50 million vaccine doses. The Chinese vaccine will be free for everyone, while vaccines from other companies and countries are being considered to be sold at pharmacies. Koca announced earlier that Turkey was in talks with Germany to purchase 25 million doses.

After the vaccination plan was announced, Koca said in a written statement that an agreement was signed for the acquisition of an inactive vaccine and talks were underway for a messenger ribonucleid acid (Mrna) vaccine. He said the vaccines would be subject to efficacy tests for their approval by health authorities and final approval would be given after early results of their Phase 3 trials. China-based Sinovac’s CoronaVac and a vaccine developed by U.S.-based Pfizer and Germany-based BioNtech are currently in human trials in the country. Health care workers have volunteered first for the vaccines, while the CoronaVac trial was opened later for other volunteers.

Ateş Kara, a member of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, told the Sabah newspaper on Thursday that CoronaVac appears to have more efficacy. “It is developed with old, reliable methods. The Mrna vaccine is relatively new. Mrna vaccines were studied in the 1990s against vaccine and had no prevalent use. Authorities will check data on their safety before inoculation, and three-month and six-month data regarding trials and efficacy will be examined,” he said.

An “inactive” vaccine is a vaccine consisting of virus particles, bacteria or other pathogens that have been grown in cultures and lost their disease-producing capacity. They are alternately called “dead vaccines” in contrast to live vaccines that use pathogens that are still alive.

Weekly actual topics in Azerbaijan (April 16-20)
Weekly actual topics in Azerbaijan (April 16-20)
Weekly tenders in the region (April 16-20)
Weekly tenders in the region (April 16-20)
Last week’s laws, orders and decrees in Azerbaijan (April 16-20)
Last week’s laws, orders and decrees in Azerbaijan (April 16-20)
Loading Bars
Latest
EBRD to oversee more SMEs support programs in Kazakhstan in 2021
Trade, economic and investment cooperation between Kazakhstan and Ecuador expanding
German gov't lowers economic forecast for 2021 to 3 pct
Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan MoU boosts relevancy of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline
Armenia’s Metsamor nuclear plant poses potential threat to region – ombudsman
Azerbaijan eliminating damage caused by Armenia in Fuzuli, Aghdam – Trend TV
Azerbaijani State Oil Company to enter new stage of development - minister
Meeting of trilateral group on Nagorno-Karabakh region may be held soon - Russian MFA
Azerbaijan restoring houses destroyed as a result of Armenia’s aggression in Ganja (PHOTO)
Liberating Azerbaijani territories formed new regional reality - Turkish Security Council
Azerbaijan releases footage of Fuzuli district's Khalafsha village (PHOTOVIDEO)
Azerbaijan electricity provider opens tender to attract various services
Depreciation of Georgian REER associates with domestic export goods gaining competitiveness
Kazakhstan's entrepreneurship dev't fund to unite efforts with WB in SMEs support
Work on increasing level of drinking water supply to Uzbek regions continues
Coty to consolidate fragrance manufacturing operations, close Cologne factory
US companies ready to take part in restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated lands (PHOTO)
Кazakh Electricity Grid Operating Company to opens tenders buy spares for vehicles
Turkish low-cost airline eyes to link countries of religious tourism with Uzbekistan
Eurasian Development Bank setting up top priorities for this year’s strategic period
Georgia sees recovery in remittance inflows
National Bank of Georgia sells funds at foreign exchange auction to stabilize lari
EBRD continues supporting SMEs dev't in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan reports increase in trade with Denmark
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry grateful to Turkish side
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin rebounds in price
Azerbaijani government's digitalization to favor creation of various projects
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Khorramshahr port announced
Iran to launch new projects in tourism, power industry, agriculture fields
Trilateral statement on Karabakh being implemented consistently - Putin
Georgia sees slight increase in export of precious metals - ISET-PI
Contribution to GDP structure of Turkmenistan’s industrial sector revealed
SOCAR Turkey, Middle East Technical University to carry out chemical recycling of plastic waste
Housing prices in Baku decrease
Georgia presents great investment opportunities - Spanish Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijani FM, OSCE MG co-chair from France exchange views on situation in region
JPMorgan to launch UK consumer bank within months
Iranian banks issue big loans to agricultural sector
Azerbaijan liberated its lands from occupation and new opportunities opened up - assistant to president
State Property Service of Azerbaijan to auction small enterprises
Azerbaijan confirms 601 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan benefited from cooperation with Turkey in Patriotic War - President's assistant
Houses destroyed by Armenia in Azerbaijan's Tartar being restored - Trend TV reports
Turkmenistan’s Turkmennebit SC names amount of work performed at trust
Iran, Kazakhstan should form join bank to boost trade, transactions - ambassador
Russia remains main exporter of Uzbek textile production
Relationship between Azerbaijan and Turkey - eternal - Azerbaijani president's aide
Uzbekistan’s Statistics Committee, IMF discuss national strategy for statistics dev’t
Demand for Azerbaijani CBA's short-term notes exceeds supply fourfold
Boeing 737 MAX safe to return to service in Europe
Spending on gas exploration declined in 2020
UK voices interest in restoring electric energy sector in Azerbaijan's liberated areas
Armenians built several villas for themselves in Shusha. One of villas belongs to leader of junta, another - to wealthy, corrupt official - President Aliyev
Shuakhevi HPP to play important role in decreasing Georgia’s dependence on imported electricity
Iran would return to JCPOA commitments if others comply - Iranian President
Significant volume of bank loans in Georgia secured with real estate
Georgian JSA Technologies plans to export the product to EU, US and China
Total assets of Azerbaijani banks for 2020 revealed
Azerbaijani banks' reduced total liabilities in 2020
All of us, all people will revive Shusha - President of Azerbaijan
Shusha was our goal and Shusha became our victory - President of Azerbaijan
I said that our victory would be incomplete without Shusha, at that time, during war, I could not say more - President Aliyev
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for steam boilers via tender
President Aliyev gives instructions in relation to restoration of Shusha city
FMs of Azerbaijan, Turkey hold phone conversation
We don't need fake history - President of Azerbaijan
They say that Shusha was allegedly handed over just like that, without a fight, that Armenians left Shusha of their own free will. This is a blatant lie - President Aliyev
Russia lifts restrictions on import of Kazakh tomatoes - Kazakhstan's Agriculture Ministry
At that time, minister of defense of Azerbaijan was offshoot of PFPA-Musavat tandem, one of their henchmen. He was first to sell Shusha - President Aliyev
During Shusha operation, hundreds of invaders were killed - President Aliyev
Turkmenistan launches initiative to ensure stable international transport services
Russia’s Tatneft in Turkmenistan opens tender for maintenance
Turkmenistan, Belarus sign co-op program between foreign ministries
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 27
If Armenians considered Shusha their own, then why didn’t they create anything there in 28 years? - President of Azerbaijan
Iran’s CBI reveals amount of loans issued by Iranian banks
Shusha was able to preserve spirit of Azerbaijan despite attempts to Armenianize it - President Aliyev
Domestic production increases in Iran
Number of vehicle re-export from Georgia down
Goldman Sachs loses legal fight against EU cartel fine
President Aliyev receives in video format Aydin Karimov on his appointment as Special Representative of President in Shusha district (PHOTO)
Iran's government voices support for local stock exchange
Iran boosts its exports via Kurdistan Province
EU and FAO work together to increase farm productivity across Georgia
Foreign, local investors showing more interest in Azerbaijan's electric power engineering
Uzbek agro-industrial agency announces tender for well construction
Uzbekistan’s 2020 volume of market services increased
LG Display reports stronger profit on iPhone demand, rising panel prices
Azerbaijan’s gas exports to Turkey up by over 23%
Share of gross regional product in Uzbek regions for 2020 revealed
Georgia discusses plan of 're-opening' tourism sector
Kazakhstan increases car exports to countries of EAEU
Highest indicator observed in tax revenues from non-oil sector in Azerbaijan
Details of imports, exports via Iran’s Anzali port declared
Manufacturing data of Iranian automakers disclosed
Project of Baku Higher Oil School becomes winner of ‘Science-Education-Industry’ grant competition
Kazakh Entrepreneurship Development Fund, Sberbank affiliate to jointly support projects
New Azerbaijani minister of transport, communications and high technologies introduced to staff
Azerbaijan launches highway construction in Aghstafa district (PHOTO)
Iran talks funds needed to increase extraction from offshore gas fields
All news