Turkey on Tuesday confirmed 107 more deaths from the novel coronavirus in the country over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,403.
The total number of registered coronavirus cases surged to 65,111 as 4,062 more people tested positive for the virus, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told a news conference following the virtual meeting of Coronavirus Science Board.
So far, a total of 4,799 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, Koca said.
He also said 33,070 tests were conducted over the past day, with the overall number of tests reaching 443,626.
Turkey is currently treating 1,809 patients in intensive care units, according to the top health official.
Koca underscored that the rate of rise in coronavirus cases has been seeing a downward trend as of fourth week of the outbreak in Turkey. The spread is “under control,” he added.
The overall screening is not the right method to get reliable results, Koca said. “We make progress by pinpointing [the target].”
Mentioning the filiation method of screening the chain of contact in infectious disease, he said Turkey uses the method to reach people infected by the coronavirus, monitor them, and isolate the diagnosed for treatment.
Family physicians played an important role in filiation process, he said. The follow-up information about people suspected to be infected with the virus are shared with the family physicians and they observe whether the patients develop symptoms or not, he added.
Turkey has 4,600 filiation teams that are following up 251,028 people.
"As of today, 261,989 people have been identified in the contact chain and approximately 96% of them have been tracked," he said, as part of the country's efforts to curb the virus.
On the plasma therapy, Koca said the treatment of coronavirus patients with this cure is growing in Turkey. The number of people recovered after the therapy is also rising.
"I think we will see peak [of coronavirus outbreak] in next 1-2 weeks unless there is a new fluctuation," he added.
Koca said that downward trend in rate of rise in the coronavirus cases and deaths clearly show that Turkey is on the right track in its fight.
Turkey might cooperate with many countries to develop vaccine, he said, but it attaches more importance to own clinical works.
After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world. Europe and the U.S. are currently the worst-hit regions.
The pandemic has killed over 124,500 people, and infected over 1.97 million, while nearly 470,000 people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.' Johns Hopkins University.