No epidemic and no clustering

SAFAKNA TURKEY – Minister of Health Koca answered journalists’ questions yesterday after the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers. Minister Koca stated that there are no problems with the supply of tap water in Hatay: “Especially in places like Antakya and Defne, where destruction is most intense, ordinary tap water is also supplied to other regions. Residual chlorine analyzes and microbiological water analyzes are often performed. At the moment there are no problems, but we recommend not to use tap water as drinking water in Hatay during this period. We cannot say “Drinkable” without fully defining that the water is potable. The biggest risk in terms of a possible epidemic is drinking water. There are no problems with the use of general purpose tap water. It can be used for cleaning,” he said.


Minister Koca said that the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) is trying to supply packaged drinking water to all regions, and that there is no problem with water. Speaking about measures against possible epidemic diseases, Koca said: “As you know, we have had a system called “syndromic surveillance” of our General Directorate of Public Health for many years. Think of it like kinship during a pandemic. In other words, if an incoming patient has an infection, this system is based on finding the source and determining the source of the infection. This system is active. You know, we also have a Public Health Scientific Commission. They are also constantly working in the field with subgroups.”


Minister Koca said that the Public Health Scientific Commission, which conducted surveys throughout the disaster area, moved to Hatay the day before. Speaking about the work of the commission, Koca said: “There is no epidemic at present; but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Because in order to prevent an epidemic, we need to provide safe water, reliable food, a hygienic environment in the toilet. The stronger we take these measures, the less the likelihood of an epidemic. As I said, our system of “syndromic surveillance” is actively working, and we are closely monitoring it. I want to repeat; There is currently no epidemic situation or cluster situation. 10 or 20 cases of diarrhea among thousands of people does not mean an epidemic. The possibility of an epidemic, especially from a contagious source, is important to us, and what is pleasing is that at the moment there is no such situation. “There are no problems in terms of epidemics or water,” he said.


Minister Koca stated that there are hospitals that need to be evacuated due to the risk of an earthquake and said, “I previously announced that we are working on the need to relocate some of our hospitals during this period. We will announce what we will do with our other public hospitals in Cherrahpasa, Cap, Istanbul and Ankara in 1-2 days. We have hospitals to evacuate. As we take steps in this regard, we will share the results of the structural analysis with the public. In 1-2 days, we will make a statement on the status of university and government hospitals and the steps to be taken.”


In response to a question about medical care in the disaster area, Minister Koca said, “Our mobile medical teams are doing extensive examinations and examinations. The number of patients we examined on site approached 300,000. More than 17 thousand doctors and 122 thousand medical staff are on duty in the region. We have provided nearly 3 million primary health care services. Our hospitals, field hospitals, mobile medical services, primary health care services in public places are working non-stop.

Regarding the hiring of 42,500 medical workers, Minister Koca said, “Absolutely no cancellation. However, we are making adjustments to our planning to reflect the new situation. We will announce it as soon as possible,” he said.

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