Turkey's Coronavirus tally hits 1,236 cases - 30 deaths as number of tests still low | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

5 April,

Turkey's Coronavirus tally hits 1,236 cases - 30 deaths as number of tests still low

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For the first time since the disease spread to Turkey, the Health Minister announced the exact number of tests performed so far.

Nine people lost their lives and 289 were diagnosed with coronavirus in one day, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced late Sunday (March 22).
With the latest figures, Turkey's tally of the pandemic has reached 1,236 confirmed cases and 30 deaths. All the deceased people were over 60 years old, Koca said in a tweet.
It has been 12 days since Turkey confirmed its first case of Covid-19.
He also stated that Turkey has so far conducted a total of 20,345 coronavirus tests, giving such information for the first time. The low number of tests and the lack of disclosure of detailed information regarding tests have been a point of criticism against the ministry, especially from health organizations.
On more than one occasion, the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) called on the ministry to perform more tests and give more demographic information about the confirmed cases, such as the provinces where the cases were found and the ages of the patients and the deceased people. The World Health Organization (WHO) had also advised governments to do more tests.
However, the number of tests and the ratio of tests to the population in Turkey was significantly lower than some of the most affected countries by the pandemic as it only tested 0.025 percent of its population of nearly 81 million.
China's Guangdong, as of February 24, tested 320 thousand people, 0.32 percent of its population. Italy, the hardest-hit country of the pandemic, stated on March 20 that it tested 206,806 people, 0.34 percent of its population. Iran, a neighbor of Turkey and one of the most affected countries in the outbreak, tested 0.1 percent of its population, having conducted 80 thousand tests as of March 14.
Minister Koca told the parliament on March 19 that Turkey would introduce a fast diagnostics kit and aims to carry out 10 to 15 thousand tests per day. He stated that Turkey conducted more than 10 thousand tests.
The country confirmed its first case on March 11 and the first death on March 17.
The outbreak began in China's Wuhan city in December and has so far affected more than 160 countries and territories around the world, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University in the US. It killed over 14 thousand people. WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic on March 11.


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