Turkish physicians, speaking to Anadolu Agency, told about the conditions medical staff had to endure and why the public, including the children, should be more careful when it comes to wearing masks and social distancing.

Dr. Okan Caliskan of Turkey’s Kars Public Hospital, a specialized hospital on COVID-19, and Zerrin Orbak, a pediatrician at the School of Medicine at Ataturk University, stressed the importance of following the rules in combat against COVID-19.

Caliskan said the initial two to three weeks after the pandemic started in Turkey were particularly tough for him and all medical staff had to work for long shifts with only a few hours of sleep a day.

But, we had experience, and our working conditions got better, he added.

Highlighting the role of the public in the battle against COVID-19, he said: “Some people’s stubbornness in not wearing masks or insistence on attending weddings or other social activities as if the pandemic does not exist not only play a role in transmission of the COVID-19, it also undermines the motivation of medical staff who selflessly work to save lives.”

Speaking on how to curb the spread of the COVID-19, Dr. Orbak, a senior pediatrician, pointed out the children’s role as transmitters. “When children have COVID-19, they mostly pull through it without showing any symptoms. They continue their normal daily activities. So, they spread it to older adults and vulnerable people they interact with,” she told Anadolu Agency.

“For this reason, children over 7 years old also should also wear masks and avoid interacting with other people as much as possible.”

Dr. Orbak also praised the Health Ministry for successfully managing and coordinating the process and embracing preventive medicine.

* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara

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