New scenario on the spread of coronavirus in Turkey

New scenario on the spread of coronavirus in Turkey
08 April 2020

Econix has updated the 3 scenarios prepared on the spread of coronavirus in Turkey. A new scenario added to the previous report envisaged within the scope of the update, while the density of the cases in Istanbul may strain the health capacity. It was stated that 2 new pandemic hospitals, started to be established in Istanbul announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will meet this need.

*** This release is originally published in Turkish.
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ISTANBUL (TR) - Since 11 March 2020, when the first case of the COVID-19 virus was announced in Turkey, 34.109 cases have been identified and 725 lives have been lost due to the virus. The total number of tests performed has reached 222,868, while 1,582 patients have recovered so far. Within the scope of the increased measures, a curfew has been imposed for individuals aged more than 60 and under 20 to ensure social isolation, while the number of cases continues to increase.

On April 5, 2020, Econix has updated the COVID-19-related case numbers and Health Care Needs Analysis report, which it published in March on the spread of the pandemic in Turkey in line with the measures taken in the context of social isolation and data on the health system in Turkey. In the context of the updated analysis, a possible new scenario for the change in the number of cases was prepared based on the data announced by the Ministry of Health in Turkey until April 5, 2020 and the global trend of the pandemic. An additional 1,098 intensive care beds and medical staff may be required in Istanbul in the new scenario modeled in Turkey. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the previous day that a total of 2 new pandemic hospitals with 1000 beds will meet this need and will not experience any overcapacity.

The new scenario shows that the measures of the Ministry of Health should be strictly followed

According to the updated research report of Econix, the current number of cases in Turkey was observed between the before-imagined scenario II. and III. It was stated that the measures taken by all public institutions, especially the Ministry of Health, yielded results and that the bad scenario was avoided. Added if the necessary measures are taken according to a new scenario in Turkey up to 30 June 2020 was estimated 111 561 cases and 5541 deaths can be observed. It is stated that there will be 2.365 deaths in case of preserving the table with the average death rate of 2.12%.

"The probability of the first scenario, which predicted 3.7 million cases, was reduced"

Dr. Güvenc Koçkaya, in line with the isolation and curfew measures taken in Turkey's coronavirus fight has improved and the predicted scenario shows change, said, “In one of the three scenarios we assumed in the light of the data, the number of cases in Turkey could spiral out of control and reach 3.7 million by the end of June if the measures are not maximized. With the social isolation and curfew measures taken, we can say that the chances of this scenario being set up before are reduced. But we still estimate that the total number of cases could be over 100,000. It is also critical that our health capacity is able to meet our needs in this process. What will affect the system is the big cities, especially Istanbul, where the population and the case are dense. It is very important that we move on with our lives, taking heed of the warnings, without forgetting the seriousness of the situation.”

The need for intensive care beds in Istanbul will disappear with field hospitals

In the context of the new scenario, it was calculated that the need for intensive care beds would be 3.416 and the need for qualified beds would be 8.003 in the time when the pandemic spread rapidly. Considering the 60% occupancy rate of the current intensive care bed in this context, 1,098 additional intensive care beds and more healthcare workers may be needed for Istanbul, where the case density is now 62.48% at the peak stage where the pandemic has caused the most cases, and this may exceed the current capacity. While the research results were completed and in the process of publication, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that 2 pandemics hospitals with a total of 1,000 beds will be established at Atatürk Airport and Sancaktepe. In this way, it will be ensured to prevent a possible excess of capacity in the health system in Istanbul.

Health professionals are 8 times more at risk than society

According to the new scenario, the number of health worker deaths and cases observed in Turkey is estimated to increase from 4,239 to 9,148 total health workers infected by June 30, 2020. The report also said health workers are 8.3 times more at risk of transmission worldwide than society at large. In Turkey, the ratio of healthcare workers to total patients was recorded as 3.8%. This rate currently stands at 8.2% worldwide.

In countries with curfews, the rate of increase in cases slows down

According to the report, while the total number of cases and total deaths continue to increase around the world, the curfew has slowed down the rate of folding. In this context, the number of cases folded every 3.84 days before the ban in countries declaring curfews decreased to 6.25 days after the ban. It was observed that the important issues affecting the case density were urbanity and globalization. Globalization and urbanity rate like Istanbul can be explained by the fact that more cases are seen in a province with a higher rate than other provinces.