Minister of Health, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, delivered a statement following the Coronavirus Scientific Committee meeting.
In his speech, Minister Koca said that masking, distancing and hygiene helped slow down the spread of the virus and continued, "Constantly new data flows with regard to the protectiveness of masks. The World Health Organization has released its influenza update report on October 12. The report suggests that the infection had been quite rare in the southern hemisphere, which has lived through the flu season. The WHO attributes the low number of flu cases to masking, social distancing and hand hygiene."
"Following the measures will protect us from two diseases at once"
Minister Koca warned, "The measures against the coronavirus will also protect us from the flu. Following the measures will protect us from two diseases at once. Measures are the same for these two viruses."
"We will conduct another field screening on October 15"
Minister Koca said, "Starting from July, we have been trying to go back to normal, restrictions were lifted, some countries started operating international flights. During that period, we also kicked off cross-sectional screenings These screenings are performed on those going abroad at airports, prisoners, people working in organized industrial zones, soldiers, athletes and other groups.
Another issue is field scanning. Previously, we conducted a field study on 153 thousand people to investigate the prevalence of the infection and immunity, the results of which were shared with the public. We will repeat this study on October 15. We will be working on a sample that represents the entire society."
"Progress in vaccine development should not be considered as a guarantee against the pandemic"
Noting that some scientists considered masks to be as effective as a vaccine, Koca continued, "Progress in vaccine development should not be considered as a guarantee against the pandemic. Most importantly, a possible vaccine can only be a cure for those who are able to protect themselves from the virus until the day that vaccine is made widely available. The vaccine will not be a cure for those who cannot protect themselves from the virus."
Adding that a Risk Management Guide had been produced for every individual, Koca said that positive cases and their contacts were registered in the Life Fits Home (HES) application.
Pointing out that great efforts were being made on the field to reach suspected cases, Koca encouraged everyone to use the HES application.