COVID-19 cases stabilizing in Turkey: WHO official

COVID-19 cases stabilizing in Turkey: WHO official
# 24 April 2020 02:02 (UTC +04:00)

UN health officials are cautiously optimistic that in Turkey the number of COVID-19 cases is stabilizing or coming down, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said Thursday, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

"In Turkey, at the moment, we are seeing close to 100,000 cases... We have seen an approximate increase in cases of some 47%, so we are still seeing some level of increase," Catherine Smallwood, WHO's senior health emergency officer for Europe, told a video news conference.

"However, the overall trend in Turkey is that the number of cases is beginning to come down or to stabilize. Overall, we are seeing cautiously optimistic signs."

Some 101,790 people have so far tested positive for coronavirus in Turkey, along with 2,491 deaths and 18,491 recoveries.

At the same briefing, Dr. Hans P. Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said that almost 50% of the global burden of COVID-19 cases – over 1.2 million – were in the European region.

"Make no mistake, we remain in very turbulent water and will do so for some time," he said.

Kluge said the pandemic had shone a spotlight on the overlooked and undervalued corners of society.

"Across the European region, long-term care has often been notoriously neglected. But it should not be this way," he said.

He spoke of the dedicated and compassionate people working in long-term care facilities who are often overstretched, underpaid and unprotected, and that they "are the unsung heroes of this pandemic."

"We must do all we can to ensure that those workers have PPE and other essential supplies to protect themselves and those they care for; to provide appropriate remuneration for the long hours and difficult work they have, and make sure they have the appropriate training to carry out their work," said Kluge.