Minister of Health, Dr Fahrettin Koca received the WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge. Minister Koca and Kluge held a joint press conference following the Scientific Committee meeting.
In his statement, Koca expressed how glad he was for hosting Kluge in Turkey, noting that they have had the opportunity to discuss many health-related issues concerning the region and the world, and continued,"Throughout the pandemic we have held regular meetings to exchange information and experience. As you all know, Turkey's policies in managing the pandemic have been shaped by the recommendations of the Scientific Committee and WHO's guides. Today, we have had the opportunity to bring the members of the Scientific Board and Mr Regional Director together and exchange views. We are determined to continue our close cooperation during the normalization period and afterwards."
"Turkey will be front and center in improving the health status"
Stressing that one should not expect to agree upon everything with WHO, Koca added,
"The pandemic is a fast-evolving process. It is quite normal that there are different practices all over the world. What is important is that these practices are based on science. Our main goal here is human health. We think that we need to start a global consultation where we assess WHO with all of its rights, wrongs, achievements and failures. Globally and in Europe, Turkey will be front an center in improving the health status."
"This success depends on many factors"
Touching upon Turkey's response to the pandemic, Kluge said, "Turkey is turning the corner in its response and the case load and mortality have decreased by over 75%. This success depends on many factors such as the transformation of health systems, emergency preparedness, development of diagnostic kits, strengthening the test capacity, manufacturing of PPE and ventilators, air travel regulations, public engagement and risk communication."
Kluge added that there were three important points in Turkey's success against the pandemic and said,
"The first one is political leadership, the second one is implementing the right policies and the third one is speed. It is important to swiftly take and implement decisions. I have realized huge differences between Turkey and EU countries. I think Turkey meets the criteria for safe travel from the EU."