Critics have questioned the veracity of the case and the death toll Turkey has reported during the pandemic.
The WHO statement, released on Friday, praised Turkey for its increased testing capacity and contact tracing efforts. He said: “Turkey has isolated all positive COVID-19 cases, regardless of their symptoms.”
He added that WHO had consulted its members, including Turkey, to improve reporting and data collection.
The WHO defines confirmed cases as “a person whose infection with COVID-19 has been laboratory confirmed, regardless of clinical signs and symptoms”.
But on Thursday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters: “We are talking about people with symptoms. We give this as the daily number of patients.
While Koca said the government did not disclose asymptomatic cases, he stressed that contact tracing teams were still successful in isolating them and preventing the spread of the virus.
‘Don’t play with our health’
The government’s decision to only publicly disclose new cases if the patient is showing symptoms was criticized by the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) in a statement Thursday.
“Patients and cases are the same in medical science. Do not play with our health and our mind! Said the APC.
The official daily tally of new infections remained fairly stable in September, typically between around 1,500 and 1,700 cases.
A document shared on September 29 by the main opposition politician of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Murat Emir, reportedly showed that the number of positive cases on September 10 in Turkey was 29,377, compared to 1,512 new patients announced today there by the Ministry of Health.
Emir said the document was a screenshot of the Ministry of Health’s official laboratory results portal – which is not accessible to the public.
Koca denied the veracity of the document, saying the ministry did not have such an interface.
“All the information on the board that we are giving is correct,” he said.
The latest official figures from Friday show 321,512 confirmed patients and 8,325 deaths from COVID-19 since March.