VAN, Turkey

Health professionals in Turkey’s eastern province of Van have shared their experiences while fighting, and treating coronavirus.

Suat Altin, head physician at the Sehit Ridvan Cevik State Hospital, said besides fearing death, most of the COVID-19 patients think about their dear ones.

“People mostly ask if their families, relatives or loved ones are fine or in pain like themselves,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Sedat Ozturk, another doctor responsible for the pandemic services who also tested positive, said neither the novel infection nor its treatment is age-specific.

“We receive patients from age one to 80… we’ve seen a lot of young patients with respiratory distress,” he said. “Everyone’s body reacts differently.”

Latife Kacmaz, one of the nurses recovering from the virus, said she knows how patients feel, and what they go through.

“It is hard to describe in words how much pain people feel during this period… it is heartbreaking to see people trying hard to breathe, but they can’t,” she recalled. “We need to act wisely and must think about our children, our families, and our loved ones.”

Pulmonologist Melis Yagdiran said it is a dangerous and fast-spreading disease, and “we should not take it easy.”

Turkey’s coronavirus caseload stands at 377,473, including 10,326 virus-linked deaths and 325,486 recoveries.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has repeatedly urged the public to adhere to anti-virus measures to ease the burden on the shoulders of health workers.

The virus has infected more than 46 million people worldwide, with over 1.2 million deaths. Amid fresh outbreaks in Europe and beyond, leaders have ordered new restrictions.

*Writing by Merve Berker

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