10/21/2020, 09.36
TURKEY
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Istanbul Medical Chamber says government Covid-19 data is a lie

At the funeral of a colleague who died of the new coronavirus, the Medical Guild attacks the executive on the pandemic. The numbers "are a big lie". At least 120 health workers have died so far since the start of the health emergency. The AKP's "erroneous policies" have increased the number of victims.

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - " They can tell success stories all they want, we are dying," protested the physicians of the İstanbul Medical Chamber. The guild gathers the doctors of the economic and commercial capital of Turkey who say the Ankara government is lying and the official count of the infections and victims of Covid-19 is far worse.

The charge came amid the funeral of Salih Kanlı, the latest in a long line of doctors to lose his life on October 17 due to the new coronavirus, after a 10-day battle.

According to data provided by the Turkish Medical Association (TMA), at least 120 health workers have died to date, including 52 doctors after contracting the virus. Pınar Saip, member of the executive committee that brings together doctors and nurses, sounded the alarm: "We are dying".

Addressing the operators present at his colleague's funeral, Osman Öztürk of the İstanbul Medical Chamber adds that the pandemic is still in a phase of maximum expansion. "The coronavirus - he declares - has turned into a means of targeting health workers in Turkey". Among those responsible is the ruling Justice and Development Party (Akp), whose "wrong policies and practices" are at the root of the growing number of victims.

"Coronavirus has now turned into a mistreatment of healthcare workers in Turkey – he said -  our friends, our colleagues are dying. On the other side, they are telling success stories, they are giving numbers every evening; however, no one believes the numbers they give. All these numbers are a big lie. We know the truth." Concluding his remarks, Öztürk indicated, "In this process, we - as the TTB and İstanbul Medical Chamber - are struggling and will keep on struggling to protect our colleagues, health workers and the people."

According to data from the Turkish Ministry of Health, the total number of victims is 9,445, the infected people are 351,413. In the last 24 hours the deaths are 74 and the new cases 1,894. The hospital occupancy rate is 48.1%, total intensive care beds reached 65.2% and ventilators are used at 32.1% of maximum capacity.

In recent weeks, the controversy had flared up in the country, because in the daily report of the new coronavirus cases the authorities entered only the symptomatic ones, thus breaking down numbers and statistics. As of October 15, the government declared that it also included asymptomatic infected in the list to be sent to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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