WASHINGTON 

An immunologist at a US lab praised Turkey’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic due to its “very good” health system and “timely” measures.

“Turkey’s biggest advantage is that the healthcare system is really good,” said Dr. Derya Unutmaz of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Connecticut. “If one of my family members or people close to me got infected, I’d tell them to seek treatment in Turkey instead of coming to America,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Unutmaz said Turkey implemented precautions “on time at the very beginning,” adding that failure to take these measures could have resulted in “10,000 or 20,000 cases per day, filling hospital beds in a short time.”

All countries will suffer some casualties in fighting the pandemic, Unutmaz said, emphasizing that it would be critical to keep the number of patients within the capacity of the healthcare system.

“I see Turkey is in a good place at this point,” he said, with the country reporting 112,261 COVID-19 cases and 2,900 virus-related deaths as of Monday, according to its Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. So far, a total of 33,791 patients have been discharged from medical care after recovering from the virus.

The figures on Monday also show that for the third day in a row, more people have been recovering from the virus than contracting it.

Trump ‘first responsible’ of US struggle with virus

Unutmaz said that the US, as “the most technologically advanced country in the world,” faced “serious problems” on many issues from supplies of face masks to ventilators and test kits.

“The very first responsible for this is the person who manages the country now,” Unutmaz said, blaming President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic. “The US should not have come to this point.”

The US continues to be the epicenter and leads in COVID-19 cases and deaths worldwide. The Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University’s running tally counted nearly 988,500 infections and over 56,200 deaths in the country, with more than 111,500 recoveries. 

China, WHO ‘misled’ world

Unutmaz also accused China of “hiding critical information” and the World Health Organization (WHO) of “misleading” the world at the beginning of the outbreak.

“WHO made two misleading statements over the course [of the outbreak]. First, they said in January that the virus didn’t pass from person to person. Second, was their statement that it was ‘not necessary to wear a mask.'”

After originating in China last December, the virus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The ground zero of the virus has registered nearly 84,000 cases and 1 more fatality since it confirmed nearly %50 rise in its death toll — bringing the total number to from 4,636 to 4,637. Those figures continue to raise questions in and outside China.

*Writing by Beyza Binnur Donmez from Ankara

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