Official reports of contradictory figures of coronavirus incidents are very dangerous for public health in Turkey

On March 28, 2020, the central Ministry of Health of the AKP government declared there were only 16 deaths due to coronavirus across the country. However, even in Istanbul, one city, the number of deaths were reported as 21 by the local municipality.

Official reports of contradictory figures of coronavirus incidents are very dangerous for public health in Turkey

The figures being reported by the Turkish government and other institutions reflect a deep difference in the coronavirus related incidents.

Underreporting of coronavirus cases and/or deaths could have very grave consequences in a country already destroyed by the virus pandemic.

Since the world started reacting to the new virus Turkey has moved very slowly, unable to even grasp the enormity of the issue at hand. Even after the spread of the disease, Turkish government is still at a standstill giving contradictory reports, figures and measures it supposedly took.

Turkish high officials tried minimizing the disease as they mostly relied upon religious leaders and those “scientists” who make their living by being close to the government. The most they could offer was to pray.

Many believe the reason Turkey “hid the numbers” was to prevent any ill effect to tourism where most of Turkey’s foreign exchange is generated from. However, even from the very first days of the virus news, many people started to report patients getting sick with similar symptoms. However, instead of investigating these and taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus, the Turkish government chose to silence the critics and those who reported sick people.

An official decree by the ministry of interior, as opposed to the health ministry, threatened anybody who would dare publish anything but the government’s “official truth.” More than 60 people have already been detained or questioned by the Turkish police for their social media posts that claim the government is not doing enough or for having seen sick people around them. More than 120 people are still being investigated supposedly for “inciting fear and chaos” among the population.

Since there is a history of Turkish government not reflecting the truth in matters, people naturally disbelieve any figure published officially. Hiding vital truths and protecting corrupt politicians and pro-government contractors by this Islamic administration has led to the current distrust against the government.

Now, while nobody believes the government figures of infected patients or the number of deaths, the published numbers seem more and more out of touch with what the hospitals are experiencing by the day.

The latest discrepancy of numbers came when the Istanbul provincial government published its latest number of deaths. The provincial government of Istanbul is held by the opposition party and the central AKP government is doing its worst to drawn them from resources or medical help to fight the pandemic.

On March 28, 2020, the central Ministry of Health of the AKP government declared there were only 16 deaths due to coronavirus across the country. However, even in Istanbul, one city, the number of deaths were reported as 21 by the local municipality.

Asking an explanation for the huge difference, Halkevleri, a popular leftist organization, tweeted that after the figures became evidently contradictory, the Istanbul local government’s web site reporting on the figures went off-line and is down.

Out of 21 deaths reported only for Istanbul, the 20 deaths are registered as due to coronavirus. The last death, an 89-year-old male patient, was reported as having passed away due to “Infectious disease related natural death.” These raise more suspicions and grows the mistrust to any figures reported by the government.

Sendika.org News (M.B.)

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