Doctors say Turkish COVID-19 outbreak worse than reported as hospitalisations swell

ICUs & emergency rooms in hospitals set aside for COVID-19 patients are at capacity in the capital Ankara & the city of Gaziantep

Doctors in Turkey’s coronavirus hotspots say hospitals are filling up with more cases than are reflected in the official nationwide count, which resurged above 1,000 this week.

Intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency rooms in hospitals set aside for COVID-19 patients are at capacity in the capital Ankara and the southeastern city of Gaziantep, medics associations from those regions told Reuters this week.

The government, which lifted a partial lockdown in June to restart the economy, sounded its own warning on Tuesday when the health minister described the 1,083 new COVID-19 cases as a “severe” rise after a four-day holiday weekend.

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In response, authorities rolled out new inspections and enforcement measures, including fines for not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing. New cases had hovered just below 1,000 for more than three weeks, according to official figures.

But Aysegul Ates Tarla, head of the Gaziantep-Kilis Medics’ Chamber, said a single hospital in the region logged 200 new COVID-19 cases in one day recently, with the infection rate among health workers especially high.

Read more: Reuters