ERZURUM, Turkey

The shortness of breath caused by the novel coronavirus is “indescribable,” a Turkish physician said.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Dr. Fatma Cakmak, who works at the Erzurum City Hospital along with her husband, said the severity of the virus could only be “truly understood” when experienced.

“You know the saying ‘never know unless experienced,’ that is what exactly happens. The dyspnea during the illness is indescribable,” said Cakmak, who has herself recovered after having contracted the virus.

Explaining the severity of the pain during illness, she said the COVID-19 patients complain about severe back pain and beg for oxygen.

Cakmak, a mother of five, noted the importance of wearing masks and said she wears masks even at home to protect her children from the virus.

“The mask is very important, we get upset when we see people resisting wearing masks. Health workers are worn out now. Please wear a mask and follow the measures. The disease is not simple, those who do not experience it cannot know,” she added.

The emergency physician said she still cannot forget her young patient, who died from the coronavirus due to shortness of breath.

“We cannot triumph this war [against the virus] if we do not unite,” she added.

Turkey on Tuesday confirmed 14,494 new coronavirus cases, including 1,477 symptomatic patients, according to Health Ministry data. With the latest additions, the tally of infections topped 2.27 million.

A total of 194 people lost their lives to the virus over the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 21,879. As many as 8,908 people recovered over the past day, raising the total to over 2.15 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 1.87 million lives in 191 countries and regions since it originated in China last December.

Over 86.53 million cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 48.56 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of cases.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara

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