Turkish COVID-19 cases extend five-month high

The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Turkey rose to 30,563 on Monday, the highest figure since April 30, according to Health Ministry figures.

Turkey is straying from its goal of meet a target of fully vaccinating 80 percent of the population because people who received initial doses of so-called inactive vaccines have now lost immunity and fewer people are coming forward to get inoculated, said Mehmet Ceyhan, a professor and the head of Hacettepe University’s pediatric infectious diseases department.

Ceyhan urged the government to take additional measures to reinvigorate its vaccination programme in comments on social media on Monday.

COVID-19 infections in Turkey remain elevated after schools re-opened last month. Infections began climbing above 20,000 daily in late July after the government ended daily curfews and travel restrictions at the start that month. New cases numbered less than 5,000 per day in early July.

The number of people protected by vaccines is not increasing, on the contrary, it is decreasing day by day, Ceyhan said. An anti-vaccine campaign is poisoning society, making government goals harder to reach, he said.

Vaccination rates in Turkey are trailing those in the neighbouring European Union and many other developed countries, meaning its population is more exposed to increases in infection rates.

The Turkish authorities have vaccinated some 46.46 million adults with two doses, according to Health Ministry data. Turkey has a population of around 85 million people, meaning the number equates to some 54.6 percent of citizens. In the EU, the full inoculation rate among all age groups stands at 63.7 percent, according to ourworldindata.org.


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