'Turkey to hit 100,000 daily virus tests within days'

# 20 August 2020 01:11 (UTC +04:00)

Within days the number of Turkey’s daily COVID-19 tests will reach 100,000, said the country’s health minister on Wednesday, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

At a news conference following a meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, Fahrettin Koca said 1,303 new cases confirmed in the past day brought the tally to date to 253,108.

A total of 1,002 more patients also recovered in the past 24 hours, pushing the number of recoveries to 233,915, and the death toll reached 6,039 as 23 more people lost their lives, he added.

Turkey's daily COVID-19 test count will reach 100,000 within days, he said, as healthcare professionals have done as many 87,223 tests daily to diagnose the virus, bringing the grand total to more than 5.9 million.

Of those infected, 7.4% are suffering from pneumonia and the number of patients in critical condition rose to 719.

He also said doctors will connect with patients at home via telemedicine, adding that Turkey doesn't have any difficulties in its drug supply, as four companies in the country started domestic production of antiviral drugs.

"Including COVID-19 and all other diseases, the service bed occupancy rate is 51.3%, the intensive care bed occupancy rate is 64.8%, and the ventilator occupancy rate is 31.7%," he said.

Koca also underlined that a rising number of virus cases in Turkey took it to its highest daily case total in one-and-a-half months.

Schools in the country are scheduled to gradually reopen on Sept. 21, he said, adding that distance and hybrid learning systems might also be implemented depending on the situation.

The rate of contact tracers reaching people known to be in a contact chain in the last 45 days is 98.9%, he said.

According to Koca, technology showing high-risk areas in common places has also been improved.

On the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, he said 13 separate studies are now ongoing, including at least three in advanced stages.

Since it originated in China last December, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 782,441 lives in 188 countries and regions.

The US, Brazil, India, and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries.

Over 22.2 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries topping 14 million, according to figures compiled by US’ Johns Hopkins University.