Turkey’s Coronavirus Crisis Risks Rivalling Italy, Experts Warn

Deaths from complications related to the coronavirus in Turkey have risen to 37, and the total number of reported cases has increased to 1,529, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said late Monday night.

The minister announced that 21,874 citizens had now been tested, adding that all those who died were elderly.

The government has announced a set of fresh measures to slow the spread of the pandemic.

They include closing schools, quarantine procedures for people arriving from abroad and a multi-billion-euro economic package for businesses threatened by the slowdown.

However, many experts deem the measures deficient and say they miss important aspects.

"When we look at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's speech [on the new measures] we do not see any sign of an intensive testing and of plans to shut down the big cities," Altindis added.

"South Korea was successful [in curving the pandemic] because it tested 20,000 people a day, and China was successful because they shut down the [infected] city of Wuhan."

According to Health Ministry data, Turkey tested 3,656 people on March 20, 2,953 people on March 21 and only 1,758 people on March 22.

The World Health Organization, WHO, and the Turkish Health Ministry itself have said testing as much as possible is crucial for stopping the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Turkish Medical Association (TTB) also urged the government on March 23 to be more transparent regarding the pandemic.

"The cities and towns where cases were confirmed should be announced publicly as well as death and infected people's gender and age range," TBB wrote, adding that transparency and informing the public are what the nation needs in days like these.

"Either the government is hiding the real...

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