Turkey’s relative success in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic continues to receive acclaim worldwide as the worst is nearly behind it.
The latest appraisal came Thursday in Britain’s prominent financial magazine The Economist as an article underlined that “it has handled the pandemic better than many” of its European and American allies.
Giving examples of the Turkish government’s precautions, it said “rather than place the whole economy in a coma, the authorities ordered the young and the elderly to stay at home and asked everyone else, aside from those in consumer-facing businesses, to show up for work.”
Adding that the biggest Turkish cities were “placed under a blanket curfew” on weekends and holidays, the country’s “strategy seems to have worked.”
Turkey resumed domestic flights on June 1, and cafes, restaurants, beaches and parks reopened, but children and people 65 and over are still not allowed outdoors for more than a few hours a week, the article said.
“The strategy seems to have worked. The most vulnerable escaped the worst of the pandemic, while those infected, mostly working-age adults, generally recovered.”
The daily said Turkey’s death toll is low despite a high number of cases, and “new cases have plateaued at around 1,000 a day since mid-May, down from a high of over 5,000 a month earlier.”
“Deaths have never topped more than 127 in a single day,” it underlined.
It said Turkey has reached roughly the same testing rate as France and it has got a death rate “ten times lower than Britain’s.”
“Among OECD countries, only Mexico and Colombia have a lower proportion of people aged 65 and over than Turkey does. Few elderly Turks live in nursing homes, which became breeding grounds for the virus in Europe and America.”
Praising Turkey’s well-structured health system, The Economist article underlined that “any country that keeps its factories open during a pandemic had better make sure its health system can cope with the consequences.”
“Turkey’s rose to the challenge. Over the past couple of decades, Mr. Erdogan and his governments have poured tens of billions of dollars into health care, most recently by building a network of hospitals the size of international airports.”
It said, the wave of COVID-19 infections “never came close to overwhelming the health system and medical supplies never ran out.”
According to the article, the credit of the success “is due not just to Mr. Erdogan and his impressive health minister, Fahrettin Koca, but also to opposition mayors, especially in Istanbul and Ankara, who have raised funds and organized the distribution of masks.”
It also said even the critics of the ruling AK Party say it “works hard and get things done.”
“If opposition parties were ever to take power—and whether Mr. Erdogan would allow such a thing is the biggest unspoken question in Turkish politics—they would have to prove they can work just as hard.”
Turkey on Thursday confirmed 926 additional recoveries from the pandemic as the country began easing measures against the novel coronavirus, according to the health minister.
The total number of recoveries from the disease hit 131,778 as 926 more patients were discharged from hospitals over the past day, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, citing Health Ministry data.
The country’s death toll from the outbreak rose to 4,630 as Turkey reported 21 new fatalities over the last 24 hours.
Britain, the worst-hit country in Europe, reached a staggering death toll of almost 40,000 on Thursday.
The pandemic has killed over 391,000 people worldwide, with more than 6.6 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 2.8 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.
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