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NEWS How did Turkey manage to take control of Coronavirus and keep death numbers low?

1 Jun 2020

Turkey was certainly not among the first group of countries to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. However the epidemic moved rather fast into many parts of the country due to various reasons and it was not later than a month or so that all provinces in the country experienced corona cases.

At the beginning of the incident far too many were scared Turkey was going to be hit real hard and suffer major loss of lives and even more than what was observed in China and Italy for instance. However, when we look at the picture today, such an unfortunate situation has not turned out to be true after three months since first cases. Experts believe the more interesting part is that Turkey has managed to accomplish this without a complete lockdown.

Looking at the figures, we see the official death toll at 4,397. There are some experts in the sector who believe the true figure could be twice as high as Turkey only includes those who test positive. Same experts comment however, even if so the number of losses could be considered relatively low for a population of 83 million.

Then again professionals in the sector note that Turkey has managed to avoid a much greater catastrophe." The reason they say is "This country was among the group of countries that was good enough to respond quickly via testing, monitoring, isolation and movement restrictions" which is observed to be vital for an effective fight against the spread of the virus.

Certainly all this success required a lot of effort, energy and sacrifice from the medical staff serving patients and in fact to the extent that they almost had to forget about own families and concentrate on their patients at work. The reason is they all realized it was a war they had to win before going home.

The government being aware of the great danger acted fairly fast and following the closure of shopping malls, restaurants and alike, started introducing partial lock-downs such as at weekends and holidays and simultaneously all citizens were strongly alerted about social distance and the necessity to wear masks. The Ministry of Health kept its communication performance with citizens at quite a good level and managed to cause trust in the administration’s policies to beat the epidemic.

Thus, thanks to all these efforts and the fairly good coordination as compared to many countries the results were much below what was expected in worse scenarios and the country managed to have the virus under control and make plans to go back to normalization.

The story of this whole incident was written by Orla Guerin, BBC International Correspondent and published on BBC web page with further details and short interviews, on 29 May 2020. The original article by BBC is attached below.


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