Fahrettin Koca

Turkey plans to roll out local vaccine by end summer, says health minister

Turkey plans to roll out its domestically developed vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of this summer, the country's health minister has said.

There are 18 Turkish vaccine candidates on the World Health Organization (WHO) list, Fahrettin Koca added, addressing the organization's media briefing on April 1.

Turkey releases weekly provincial COVID-19 rates

Turkey has recorded 37,303 new coronavirus cases in the space of just 24 hours, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago, health ministry data showed on March 30.

The government said on March 29 it would tighten restrictions on movement and gatherings because of rising infections, less than a month after easing them.

Eyes on cabinet meeting as virus cases keep rising

The public, particularly business owners in Turkey, will keep a close eye on the March 15 cabinet meeting to hear the government's assessment of the pandemic situation after Turkey has moved to a "controlled normalization" phase.

Erdoğan, who will chair the cabinet meeting, last week said that the virus variants are making it difficult "for us" to take decisions.

Turkey tightening virus inspections amid normalization

Turkey is shifting to what officials dubbed "dynamic supervision model" to inspect the implementation of COVID-19-related measures after the country moved to a controlled normalization phase.

Starting from March 4, tens of thousands of personnel will be mobilized to carry out nationwide checks to see if coronavirus-related curbs are being strictly observed.

Hospitalizations being prevented via vaccine: Health minister

In a statement on the latest results of Phase 3 trials in Turkey of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on March 4 its overall efficiency was 83.5% with a hospitalization prevention rate of 100%.

"Our experience also shows that hospitalizations are being prevented [via vaccine]," he added.