It would be more appropriate for Turkey to adopt a “controlled transition” after a full lockdown, the country’s health minister said.
Amid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, the country entered the full lockdown on the evening of April 29, which will remain in effect until 5 a.m. on May 17.
In response to the question of whether a full reopening will follow the lockdown, “I think a controlled transition would be more meaningful. It will be a rather balanced process which should not interfere with daily life, ”Koca told the daily Hürriyet.
“We will move into a time when more vaccinations will be done and the effects of the pandemic will wane. It could be possible this summer, ”said the Minister.
Koca predicted that the number of daily COVID-19 cases could drop below 5,000 after the Eid al-Fitr holiday, noting that infections are already dropping to around 30,000.
The full lockdown will minimize contact between people, prevent dense crowds and help reduce the number of cases, the minister said.
“We are working hard to achieve this goal [of bringing the number of cases below 5,000]. “
He also said inspections would be stepped up in resort towns, which saw an influx of people who left major towns for these coastal towns before the lockdown began.
This exodus is not likely to create a new variant of COVID-19 but increases the risk of the coronavirus spreading, Koca added.
According to the minister, the country’s vaccination campaign will accelerate in the coming months.
“We are determined to vaccinate our citizens aged 40 and over no later than June. Thereafter, if we can vaccinate people over the age of 18, we will have a more controlled summer. We will have both measures in place and intensified vaccinations ”.
He reiterated that there is a “vaccine war” in the world and countries cannot guarantee the number of shots they are targeting. Vaccine agreements are not being honored, there are no issues of problems, but countries want to use the injections produced in the country, Koca said.
“We would have no problem if we had received 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of April as promised,” he said.
Turkey has already received 5 million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine so far and the company plans to deliver an additional 1.1 million doses in May. “We are currently discussing in which time periods a total of 90 million doses will be delivered,” Koca said.
On April 30, the minister informed that Turkey had 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including Pzifer / BioNTech and the jab developed by the Chinese company Sinovac.
Turkey last week signed an agreement to receive 50 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine over six months from May. The Turkish Drugs and Medical Devices Agency approved the Russian jab on April 30 for emergency use.