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The Power of the Turkish Government
and Health System in COVID-19 Pandemic

Turkish healthcare workers are working with maximum determination in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19), which first appeared in Wuhan province of China in December 2019 and which has affected the whole world in case of epidemic disease in a short time. 

How does it work The Power of the Turkish Government and Health System in COVID-19 Pandemic? What kind of precautions taken in Turkey to delay the infection?

Coronavirus, which has previously seen in different species around the world, was seen in China in 2002, with the name SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and more than 8,000 cases were identified, 740 of them died.

In 2012, a different kind of Coronavirus called MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) emerged in Saudi Arabia, causing more than 2,000 cases in different countries. 750 of these patients died.

The new type of Coronavirus was named by its first name (2019-nCoV) and was later used as COVID-19.

It attracted attention with an unknown pneumonia, which started between employees and shoppers at a market selling seafood and live animals in Wuhan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic on March 11 for COVID-19, which started as a local disease and spread worldwide with the epidemic.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

Coronavirus has more severe effects especially in people over 65 years of age and those with weak immune system, cancer patients, people with lung disease, people with diabetes, hypertension patients, those who use immunosuppressive drugs, and those with chronic health problems.

General symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), which shows symptoms very similar to flu disease in terms of its effects; dry cough, fever, severe muscle aches are the most obvious complaints.

In more serious cases, it causes intubation and intensive care of patients with symptoms such as difficulty breathing and respiratory failure.

It has a risk of rapid and dangerous transmission from person to person as a result of mouth particles during speech, coughing and sneezing.

Turkish Government's early precautions on Coronavirus


Along with the increasing cases in China, the cases started to increase in Korea, Iran and Italy in February. As of February 29, the most common cases were China 79.394, Korea 3.150, Italy 888, Iran 388.

In the first days that Corona cases began to increase in the world, thanks to early precautions taken by Turkey, the inlet of the disease in Turkey is seriously delayed the power of the Turkish Government and health system in COVID-19 Pandemic also increased the impact of these measures for the future. Early precautions in Turkey;

January 22
* Officials acknowledged antiviral drugs in Turkey.

* Thermal cameras were placed in the airports.

January 24
* 7/24 medical personnel were allocated to the ports and airports.

* Thermal camera scans started on all flights from China.

February 1
* 42 Turkish citizens living in China's Wuhan city were brought to Turkey and quarantined.

February 3
* All flights suspended  from Turkey to China and from China to Turkey.

February 6
* In all international passenger arrivals, scanning was started with a thermal camera.

February 16
* Thanks to a newly developed domestic diagnostic kit, test results for COVID-19 began to be obtained within two hours.

February 21
* Entry of passengers from Iran to Turkey are banned.

February 23
* transitions between Turkey - Iran is suspended.

February 27
* Field hospitals were established at the border gates of the regions Ağrı, Dilucu, Van and Hakkari.

February 29
* All flights from China, Iran, Iraq, South Korea, Italy to Turkey are suspended.

* Egypt field hospitals were set up between Georgia and Turkey.

March 11
* The first Corona cases were confirmed in Turkey.

March 12
* Education was suspended for 1 week in primary and secondary schools and 3 weeks in universities.

* It was decided to play sports matches without audience until the end of April.

* Official foreign permits of the state were subjected to permission.

March 13
* Azerbaijan and Georgia and 9 European countries' flights are suspended.

* Activities of private kindergarten, daycare centers and kids clubs were postponed until later.

March 14
* It was suspended road and rail transport from Turkey to Iran and Iran to Turkey  .

* Sarp border crossing was closed to mutually.

* 184 Corona Emergency Line was established.

March 15
*Discotheques, bars, nightclubs and similar social areas are temporarily suspended.


The power of Turkish healthcare professionals and health system infrastructure


All the early action that applied and additional precautions implemented together with the subsequent process in case of increase in Turkey, has revealed the power of the Turkish Government and health system in COVID-19 Pandemic.

Apart from the early precautions, curfew was imposed for people over 65 and under 20. The activities of the shopping malls have been stopped. Thousands of business lines closed their offices and transmitted to the home-office work system. Hairdresser, beauty centers were closed. Cafes and restaurants started working with online orders. Curfews were imposed on certain days of the week in 31 provinces, primarily in Istanbul. Intercity transitions were subjected to permission. 

Beyond these measures, it has taken active roles in combating the epidemic, especially the Minister of Health and members of the Science Board. The main heroes in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic are undoubtedly all Turkish healthcare professionals. Professors, associate professors, doctors, nurses and other health professionals are working 7/24, since its first appearance of Coronavirus cases in Turkey. They have been struggling day and night to control the epidemic with early applications in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Thanks to its strong health infrastructure, the Turkish health system achieves more successful results than most strong countries in the world such as America, Italy and Spain. Turkey, with its 1518 hospitals, 166,000 physicians, health care workers to 1,100,000, more than 240,000  hospital bed and 40,000 intensive care unit, is giving efficient service in all areas of the fight against the pandemic.

It has been specified by authorities that the numbers of respirator are  appoximately 17.000 in Turkey, also have been producing new breathing apparatus.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that, “We have begun to take control of the spread of the virus by filiation. Filiation is the name of the process of screening the chain of contact related to an infectious disease. We ensured that the Coronavirus case increase rate started to decrease early with this filiation.”

Minister Fahrettin Koca added to his word that, they support all units that carry out antiserum and drug studies, including TÜBİTAK, universities.

The power of the Turkish Government and health system in COVID-19 Pandemic has achieved more successful results than even the leading countries of the world.


Two new City Hospitals opened in Coronavirus struggle


Turkey in recent years has accelerated the spread of the city hospitals in the general of country. 12 of 22 city hospitals started to serve. These city hospitals will have 5,200 intensive care units and more than 30 thousand beds.

Under the leadership of the President and Minister of Health, public and private hospitals were declared as pandemic hospitals in previous months. During this process, COVID-19 treatments continue in existing hospitals.

Along with the existing hospitals, two big city hospitals were put into service in Istanbul.

The first of these hospitals is the city hospital in Okmeydanı, the first phase of which opened on 30 March. The name of Prof. Dr. Cemil Tascioglu is given to this city hospital, who put the first COVID-19 diagnosis in Turkey, and unfortunately lost his life because of this disease. Professor Dr. Cemil Tascioğlu also was the first health worker who lost his life due to the Coronavirus pandemic in Turkey.

Due to the pandemic, Prof. Dr. Cemil Tascioglu hospital, which opened earlier than the planned date, took its place in the fight against the epidemic. The hospital, which also includes a COVID-19 Diagnostic Center where 3,000 tests can be performed per day, has a bed capacity of 600 and an intensive care unit with 81 beds.

Basaksehir City Hospital, which was built in Basaksehir and opened on April 20 with the participation of the video conference of President Erdogan, has areas that are specially isolated and equipped with smart ventilators to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Basaksehir City Hospital, which has an indoor construction area of approximately 1 million square meters and a bed capacity of 2,682, will be fully operational on May 15.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Erdogan stated that the number of intensive care units in our country and the number of computed tomography devices, which are of great importance in the diagnosis of the virus, are much more than in European countries.

When will Atatürk Airport epidemic hospital be opened?


The power of the Turkish Government and health system in COVID-19 Pandemic also brought another system, establishment of epidemic hospitals.

Although the coronavirus pandemic does not over the capacity of the hospitals in Turkey, the Turkish government as a measure gave instructions for the construction of two epidemic hospitals in Istanbul. 

The construction of two epidemic hospitals in Istanbul, announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 6, has begun rapidly. One of the epidemic hospitals, which started with a plan to be completed within 45 days, is built inside Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy, Istanbul. 

The Atatürk Airport epidemic hospital, which started on April 8 and was built on 35L / R runways that was disabled within the Ataturk airport, is single storey and has a capacity of 1.000 beds. In the hospital, which is expected to start operating in mid-May, the roofs of some departments have been completed and landscape arrangements have started.

Another epidemic hospital is being built in Sancaktepe, on the Asian side of Istanbul.

The construction of the 1.005-bed hospital, which is planned to be completed in a short period of 45 days, has come to an end. Thousands of workers continue their work 24/7 to complete the construction within the specified time.