Minister of Health, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, delivered a statement following the Coronavirus Scientific Committee meeting.
In his speech, Koca noted that each country tried to respond to the pandemic to the best of its abilities, and said, "We are also doing that and have shown everyone that we are giving a good fight. This success has undoubtedly been dependent on the efforts and dedication of the entire nation, especially the healthcare workers. This fight does not make us forget the suffering we have experienced and the price we have paid and maybe will pay. We have lost many lives. I once again wish Allah's mercy upon them and pay my condolences."
"We have administered around 8 million vaccines"
Minister Koca said that 8 million doses had been administered in line with the plans of the Scientific Committee, and continued, "We are now nearing the end of the first stage of the vaccination plan. Our vaccination performance and vaccine supply put us among some of the most successful countries."
"We have no supply or planning problems"
Minister Koca said, "Among vaccine-supplying countries, we have delivered the most doses the fastest. However, in a time when the whole world is experiencing challenges in terms of vaccine supply, even though we have a fast and systematic vaccination program, there is still a lot way to go."
Noting that interest in the vaccine had been increasing, Koca continued, "As you know, the vaccination program is live and updated in real time. It is conducted fairly and transparently. Increase or decrease in the number of vaccination is done on purpose on purely logistical grounds. There is always a possibility for disruption in vaccine supply, which can hinder the program. The only way to avoid this is to produce our own vaccine. As you know, we have made very important progress in this regard. As of today, we do not have a supply and planning problem. The second dose of all those who have received the first dose is secure."
"Having had the first dose should lead us to take more measures, not become complacent"
Koca clarified one thing and said, "The protection does not start on the day of vaccination. You are considered vaccinated 14 days after the second dose. Which is 42 days after the first dose. And we are not fully protected unless we vaccinate at least 60% of the population. Having had the first dose should lead us to take more measures, not become complacent."
"Security forces will intensify checks"
Koca noted that provinces will be categorized as low, medium, high, and very high risk depending on some parameters, and continued,"I will be presenting to the Cabinet the recommendations of the Scientific Committee with regard to the relaxation of various areas based on this risk level. The decisions of the Cabinet will be announced by the President after the meeting.
With this new period, the security forces will intensify checks. The Ministry of Interior also expressed his determination on this matter. We will do our best and keep on working to protect the health and well-being of our nation and to return things back to normal as soon as possible."