Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Former COVID-19 patients in Turkey share experiences

Complying with rules essential in fight against virus, they all say

Ahmet Gençtürk   | 06.03.2021
Former COVID-19 patients in Turkey share experiences


A group of former coronavirus patients from different areas of Turkey who won the battle against the virus shared their experiences and called everyone to fully comply with measures. 

Muzzaffer Cakar, local director of the Turkish Social Security Institution (SGK) in eastern Bingol province, told Anadolu Agency that he was diagnosed with the virus when he went to a hospital in October after having light symptoms.

He said he initially expected to recover at home by taking medicine prescribed by a doctor and getting rest. But his high fever and short-breaths became constant and eventually led him to be hospitalized.

“Despite best efforts of doctors in local state hospital here, my health condition worsened even further. As such, they decided to transfer me to the Ankara Sehir Hospital, where I had to

stay for 20 days,” he said.

Cakar stressed that particularly the short-breath problem hit him hard and made him lie face down for more than two weeks.

Praising the selfless efforts of health workers and the quality of facilities in Turkey, he urged people to comply with measures for their well-being and their loved ones.

Senior otolaryngologist Pakize Ozberk in southern Adana province, said she tested positive for COVID-19 when she went to a doctor after losing her sense of smell and taste.

“I isolated myself at my home. Even though my husband did his best to take care of me, I felt terrible not only because of severe joint pains but also fear of something bad could happen any

second,” she said.

Underlining the importance of watching the social distance rule and wearing a mask, Ozberk urged people to limit their social life until the pandemic is undoubtedly defeated.

Biomedical technician Ali Koray Aktav, who works at the same hospital and also contracted coronavirus, agreed with Ozberk.

“I was lucky that I defeated the coronavirus in a shorter period and lighter pains. However, as someone who witnessed other COVID-19 patients’ sufferings in intensive care units, I call

people to be extremely cautious and vigilant about the virus,” he stressed.

Another patient who shared his experience was Tuncay Ozturk from the western province of Denizli. He said the illness led him to re-think his priorities and the meaning of life.

“I conceived how invaluable breathing is. I would exchange all of my assets, without thinking even for a second, for health, which I understood is the most important wealth we have,” he said.

Ozturk transmitted the virus to his two children who eventually recovered. He urged people to observe the rules in order not to lose their loved ones.

On Monday, Turkey began easing weekend curfews, while continuing weeknight curfews to stem the virus' spread. It also allowed more face-to-face education and restaurant dining, based on local risk assessments.

Since December 2019, when the first cases were detected in Wuhan, China, the virus has claimed nearly 2.70 million lives in 192 countries and regions.

Some 115.61 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries now more than 65.38 million, according to figures by US-based Johns Hopkins University.  

• Writing by Ahmet Gencturk

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