Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca made a statement to the press after the Coronavirus Scientific Committee Meeting held in Istanbul Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital.
Making a statement after the Scientific Committee, Minister Koca said, “Our Scientific Committee, which started its work on January 10, as soon as the epidemic started in China, is in Istanbul today. Since then, it was the first time we had a meeting outside of Ankara. It is not an ordinary event that the Coronavirus Scientific Committee meets outside of Ankara. Three days ago, the number of cases in Istanbul, Turkey announced that I reached 40 percent. 19 out of 10 people who test positive for Covid-4 are in Istanbul. From physicians and nurses to our ambulance drivers, we are on alert as all healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, members of the Scientific Committee and all relevant institutions. The situation imposes a great responsibility on you as well as on us ”.
"Istanbul is a city that makes it difficult to comply with the distance rule"
Health Minister Koca explained that the danger in April was also great, and that they prevented Istanbul, which has a population of around 20 million, by cooperating with the center of the epidemic and applying the rules.
Pointing out that they are faced with a similar situation now, Koca said, “What caused this situation? Istanbul ranks 14th among the world's most populous cities. We live together in a city that makes it difficult to obey the distance rule. We have very favorable living conditions for the virus to spread. The mass in motion is huge. There were heavy turns to spend the winter here. We can be vigilant in the face of danger: But as soon as we repel the risk, we let life flow. This is the description of the situation we are confronting that will put the whole country at risk. We need discipline and long-term success in fighting the epidemic. It may not always be possible to get up from where we fell. Minor negligence by individuals has a high price. We may have to pay the prices together, ”he said.
"Public transportation is one of the biggest sources of risk"
Stating that the implementation of the social distance rule depends on improving the conditions in many cases, Koca explained that they have been working on this issue with the deputy ministers and their team for the past 6 days.
Stating that they met with the authorities of the provincial and district administrative authorities, the managers of the metropolitan and district municipalities and the officials of the public institutions, Koca said:
“We wanted work and planning to facilitate compliance with the rules in public transportation, market places, shopping environments and various city areas. Additional expeditions to public transport, reorganization of work hours in public institutions and private sector, including organized industrial zones, in a way to reduce the contact originating from social mobility are among the issues discussed. The institutions were also asked to provide convenience of working at home with remote access. The issue we most need to solve is public transportation. Public transportation, where social distance cannot be maintained, is one of the biggest sources of risk. The journey, therefore, the risk period is long. Generating these solutions will greatly reduce the mobility and contact that is the reason for the escalation of the epidemic. "
"What I want is to get the action and theme down to 3 in 1"
"If the virus is transmitted from 1 person to 3 on average, we will reduce the movement and contact to one in 3," Koca said, "When we go out, we will reduce it to one if we come to 3 places. If we are meeting with 3 people a day, we will meet with 1 person. What I want is for you to reduce the gesture and theme to 3 in 1. If you do, you will have truly fought the epidemic. If you go out, do not compromise on caution ”.
Addressing the employers, Koca said, “Do your best for the transition to the flexible working system. If your conditions are suitable, prefer to work in shifts.
"Every capacity ultimately has a limit"
Minister Koca stated that there is no problem in health services that would cause the system to be blocked and that they came together with public hospitals, private health institutions and medical school hospitals.
Reminding that they met with all units of the fight against the epidemic, from the 112 Emergency Service teams to the radiation teams, Koca said, “We organized against the risk with our health army. I want you to remember this: Every capacity ultimately has a limit. Not pushing this limit depends on your implementation of the measures. Measures do not mean deprivation of life. It means managing life rationally. It is to reduce the mobility against current conditions to one third. "Mobility is to reduce contact," he said.
Referring to the fact that there is no capacity problem in Istanbul, Koca said, “This does not mean that it will never happen. If this number of cases increases 2 or 3 times, different pictures may appear. For this reason, we especially want to explain this sensitivity, and our citizens to comply with the rules, especially in this period. As a ministry, the epidemic is not only a problem for the Ministry of Health, but also a problem that it can solve. In this sense, we are in close cooperation with the relevant ministries, especially our Ministry of Interior ”.