To fight the highly contagious mutated coronavirus, the current anti-virus measures should be implemented more strictly, said a Turkish doctor on Wednesday.

Recalling that the mutated coronavirus was first detected in the UK about three weeks ago, Dr. Mustafa Necmi Ilhan, a member of the Health Ministry’s Social Sciences Board, told Anadolu Agency that Turkey has immediately started to implement further measures following the detection of the new virus strain.

As part of the measures, COVID-19 tests became an obligation for those coming from the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, and South Africa.

Ilhan added that these passengers were also required to remain in isolation until their test results were obtained.

“This method is sufficient to stem the spread of the virus, but despite this, the mutated coronavirus has still been detected in 15 people so far,” Ilhan said, expressing that the patients are put in isolation, while those in contact have been quarantined.

“This number, of course, may rise,” he added.

People should not gather in homes

“Considering that more people with the mutated virus may have entered Turkey than the confirmed number, it is important to follow the measures more strictly to protect against the disease,” said Ilhan.

He noted: “As the mutated virus is reportedly around 70% more contagious, it’s especially vital to use the right mask, maintain physical distance, and ensure hygiene.

“According to the measures, gatherings in dining halls, cafes, and entertainment places have already been prohibited, but [measures at] homes are also significant in protecting from the virus.”

“Being in a crowd, especially in closed environments where there is no airflow, is the most important factor that raises the transmission risk in the current form of the virus, while in a mutated coronavirus with a higher infectious power, this probability can even rise further,” warned Ilhan.

“During this period, especially given higher transmission at homes, greater attention to complying with the measures will be the most significant factor in maintaining health and reducing the risk of contracting the virus,” he added.

* Writing by Merve Berker

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