Personal hygiene rules, face mask key in fight: Minister

Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has underlined the importance of complying with personal hygiene rules and wearing face masks for protection against COVID-19 as the number of daily cases in the country exceeds 28,000.

Recalling that COVID-19 was a respiratory disease, Koca stressed that touching the face, often without realizing it, increases the likelihood of contracting the virus.

"We should wash our hands frequently, as there may be viruses on the surfaces we encounter. We should not forget that [face] masks also provide protection in this respect," the minister noted.

Sharing also a map of Turkey on his Twitter account that shows the weekly total number of cases per 100,000 people, the minister added that the percentage of those who got the second dose of the COVID-19 jab passed 75 percent in the Central Anatolian province of Afyonkarahisar.

Noting that the province has passed into the blue category on the country's inoculation drive, Koca urged the "latecomers," referring to those who have not yet been vaccinated, to "roll up their sleeves."

"Turkey should take on the color of the fight against the pandemic," he said.

The color-coded vaccination map assigns colors to provinces based on vaccination rates, with red indicating the highest risk and blue meaning the lowest risk in terms of infections.

However, the vaccination rate is still under at 65 percent in eight southeastern provinces, including Şanlıurfa, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Bingöl, Muş, Bitlis, Siirt and Batman, as vaccine hesitancy and outright opposition to vaccines seem to be the main causes of low rates.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has prepared a communication guide which explains the way that health professionals should follow in order...

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