Two of those facilities, called “COVID-19 Monitoring Centers,” have already opened in the capital Ankara and the northwestern province of Eskişehir and more will be launched in 24 provinces soon, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Dec. 16.
Those centers will monitor COVID-19-related health complications of those who contract the virus for at least two years. The monitoring scheme will help doctors observe long-term effects of the coronavirus and prevent possible health problems of COVID-19 patients.
Visiting the centers will not be obligatory and services will be offered free of charge.
In the face of a recent spike of the cases, the government introduced a raft of restrictions, including weeknight curfews and full lockdowns on weekends. Also, a nationwide lockdown will be imposed from 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 until 5 a.m. on Jan. 4.
The latest restrictions have started to show their impact, particularly in the country’s large provinces, according to officials.
The number of patients in hospitals’ intensive care units in large provinces has declined 20 percent over the past couple of days, daily Hürriyet reported, quoting the officials.
Officials also suggested that the number of people applying to hospitals has dropped as much as 40 percent and the test positivity rate declined to 15 percent from 20 percent in the past few days.
The rise in virus cases in Anatolian provinces continues, but officials expect an improvement in the pandemic outlook in those provinces by the end of this week.
Officials, however, reckoned that the increase in the number of cases may continue for some time in the mid-sized provinces with a population between 400,000 and 750,000 as they are yet to reach a certain social immunity level. The number of cases across the Anatolian provinces are expected to drop in two weeks, they said.
Given those positive developments, officials foresaw that the outbreak in the country may subside in the second half of January 2021 and the outlook may significantly improve at the end of February.
Officials are concerned that people may see the four-day lockdown over New Year’s as a holiday opportunity which will only quicken the spread of the virus if people travel between provinces to spend those day at hotels and ski resorts.