Turkey to start sharing additional local COVID-19 data
HEALTH

Turkey to start sharing additional local COVID-19 data

In effort to facilitate local action against outbreak, Health Ministry to start releasing 7-day case averages by province

News Service AA

Turkey will start Monday to share the seven-day averages of new novel coronavirus cases in each of the country's provinces.

The figures will be released online and updated in real time by the country's Health Ministry.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced plans for the decision in a press conference last week following a meeting of the country's Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board in the capital Ankara.

"Thus, our Provincial Public Health Councils will be able to take decisions regionally when necessary. We're now moving to a period where regional work also can be carried out for a plannable future."

Local action

Dr. Mustafa Necmi Ilhan, a member of the Health Ministry's Social Science Board, said the move would be part of preparations for fighting the pandemic on the local level across Turkey's 81 provinces.

"With this practice, a road map will be determined to make regional decisions," Ilhan explained.

Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Afsin Emre Kayipmaz also pointed out that the course of the outbreak may differ across provinces and districts.

Kayipmaz noted that "numerous variables," such as the sociocultural conditions of any given locality could affect average number of new cases there.

"Also, provinces and even districts within the same province may not be in the same situation in the course of the disease," he added.

The pandemic has claimed more than 2.4 million lives in 192 countries and regions since December 2019.

Over 108.86 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries now more than 61.13 million, according to figures compiled by the US' Johns Hopkins University.

The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of cases.

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