TRABZON, Turkey 

A Turkish doctor said Friday that the best prevention from getting the coronavirus is vaccination. 

The head of medical microbiology at Karadeniz Technical University (KTU), Dr. Faruk Aydin, drew attention to a coronavirus vaccine as that he was one of the first to get vaccinated.

KTU Farabi Hospital central sterilization unit supervisor Aydin said he categorizes the outbreak in Turkey in three major timeframes: March 21-June 1, June 1 – Oct. 1, Oct. 1 – present.

Aydin said in KTU’s laboratory an average of 700 tests per day were performed at the beginning of the outbreak and the highest positivity rate was 10% but it is generally around 4% – 5%.

The pandemic was explained very well by the health ministry and the Scientific Committee at first, he said, and Turks adapted very well.

The pandemic was “under control” until June 1, before it grew across the country, he said and the positivity rate decreased to zero some days in Trabzon and 1% – 2% on others.

Between June 1 and September, the number of daily tests in Trabzon province exceeded 1,000 and the positivity rate increased to between 15% and 23% because residents did not follow measures implemented by the health ministry, he said.

Aydin drew attention to the possible risk that the picture could get worse because of the winter season and urged people to comply with measures by the health ministry.  

Second wave of outbreak alarmed health care professionals  

Aydin said that Turkey is experiencing a second wave, as well as the world, with the beginning of winter. “The second wave of the outbreak alarmed us. Our daily test count has started to increase towards 2,000 since Oct. 1. It reached a peak in November and our daily test count reached 2,000,” he said.

He said Trabzon was one of the cities with a 100% increase in the number of tests and 50% positivity rate.

“New restrictions started on Nov. 24, and we saw that we could control the numbers two weeks later,” he said.

He said that since the beginning of the outbreak, KTU has performed around 120,000 tests.

“We are waiting for the vaccine. There are developments in the world and in our country regarding the vaccine. There are no very successful developments in drug treatment,” he said.

Regarding the importance of vaccination, Aydin said: “We expect all people to get vaccinated, there is no point in avoiding it. It is even harmful to both themselves, their family, and society.”

“If we can provide 60% – 70% vaccination and immunization, we will have successfully completed a serious struggle with the pandemic,” he added.

Emphasizing that the second wave peak is completed in the outbreak in Turkey and the return continues, Aydın said, “Turkey’s health infrastructure also shows to the world that it has the power to combat the battle against coronavirus.”  

*Writing by Burak Dag in Ankara

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