As Turkey announced the easing of restrictions on coronaviruses on March 1, rules on wearing masks, social distancing and hygiene should be strictly observed so that the number of coronavirus cases does not increase rapidly. a Turkish doctor said on Wednesday.
Dr Mustafa Necmi Ilhan, dean of the medical faculty of Gazi University in the capital Ankara and member of the Social Science Council of the Ministry of Health, spoke with the Anadolu Agency about quarantine practices and d isolation and evolution of the coronavirus.
Stating that the pandemic is a dynamic process, Ilhan said the transmission of the virus is affected by social practices, behaviors and restrictions.
Because of this, Ilhan said the pandemic does not have a standard course like that of high blood pressure and chronic lung disease, adding that the changes should be managed accordingly.
He also recalled that the virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China, began to spread around the world in February of last year.
“At this point, it is still possible to say that the center of the pandemic is the United States, followed by Europe, Russia and India. “
Following the first confirmed case in Turkey, Ilhan said schools were closed in March last year, distance education was set up in universities and transportation between provinces was restricted. .
“People didn’t follow the rules”
He said Turkey had also restricted overseas travel and implemented a weekend curfew, adding that these regulations had a positive impact on the outbreak, especially in April-May.
At the start of the outbreak, the Turkish government took an approach of keeping shopping malls, barbers and hairdressers open, as people were observed to follow the rules, he said.
“Looking at the month of June, it was predicted that the company would follow the rules in the same way, but it was not… This resulted in an increase in cases,” he noted.
“Especially after Eid al-Adha, we observed that the virus spread throughout Anatolia with increased circulation between provinces.”
He noted that the holiday season was also another time that triggered the spread of the virus.
Ilhan pointed out that there had been a difficult time in terms of increasing cases in Ankara in September and Istanbul in October.
“There were also problems in provinces such as Gaziantep and Sanliurfa. Thanks to the success of the health care system, September-October resulted in as few deaths as possible, but by the end of November it was found that the public had not started to play by the rules, “he said.
Ilhan noted that Turkey has once again put in place strict restrictions due to the increase in cases, adding that the ban on dining in restaurants and a closing time requirement (8 p.m.) for places such as markets, restaurants and barbers have been implemented.
He said curfew restrictions applied on weekday evenings and weekends since the end of November have had a positive effect on the number of new cases.
Emphasizing that the success in reducing cases has not immediately manifested itself in the rates of severe illness and death, Ilhan said, “With the observance of the rules, the decrease in the number of cases can be seen in about 2 years. -3 days, but this effect on severe patients in intensive care units can be observed for up to a month, and the decrease in the number of deaths can take up to three months.
While Ilhan welcomes the Controlled Normalization decision, he also wants people to follow the rules during the Controlled Normalization process, which began on March 2.
He stressed that if the rules are not followed, it is only a matter of time before a high number of cases recur.