KIRKLARELI, Turkey

Filiation teams at the forefront of the fight against the novel coronavirus in Turkey were on duty as they greeted the new year.

Filiation staff in the northwestern Kiriklareli province were among them, tracking the virus’ spread and conducting PCR tests while far from their families and loved ones on New Year’s Eve.

Turkey uses a “filiation” method to screen the chain of contacts in infectious diseases — if somebody tests positive, close contacts are also tested.

Midwife Arzu Beser entered the new year on a video call with her children.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, she expressed her disappointment for entering 2021 away from her children.

“We [healthcare professionals] are entering the new year far from our families for people’s health. We’re sad, but public health is more important than anything else. I hope these difficult circumstances will end as soon as possible. We hope for a year in which the coronavirus decreases and ends.”

Dentist Secil Daglioglu also voiced her hopes for 2021.

“I hope the next years are different. I hope we see the fruits of our efforts. I’d like to eat at home with my family, cut a cake and enter the new year like everyone else. But, this is how it is this year,” Daglioglu said.

“We’re hopeful for the new year. I hope the vaccine is effective and people pay attention to social distancing and mask-wearing and we get rid of the epidemic as soon as possible to return to our normal old lives as quickly as possible,” she added.

As of Thursday, Turkey registered a total of 20,881 deaths due to the coronavirus, while over 2.1 million people have recovered from the disease. Currently, there have been over 2.2 million confirmed cases in the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 1.81 million lives in 191 countries and regions since it originated in China last December.

Over 83.4 million cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 47 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 Seda Sevencan

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