'The government does not partner with NGOs to avoid revealing how grave the situation is'

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  • 10:49 25 March 2020
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İSTANBUL – Istanbul Medical Chamber Member of the Board of Directors Dr. Osman Öztürk who criticizes the government for not fighting the coronavirus transparently, said said that the government, which should partner with NGOs for public benefit and public health, did not do this to avoid telling the public about the gravity of the situation.

The epidemic of coronavirus (Kovid-19), which started to be seen in Wuhan, China, and which has taken the whole world under its influence, is gradually growing. While the number of deaths due to the epidemic exceeded 15 thousand worldwide, the number of cases increased to over 300 thousand. While trying to get the epidemic under control with various measures taken in many countries struggling with coronavirus, governments are in collaboration with health organizations and NGOs in their countries.
In Turkey the situation is not at all the same. In addition to the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), the country's largest healthcare professional organization, Medical Chambers are also excluded from the fight against coronavirus.
The experts, who find the measures taken by the government against the epidemic inadequate, say that some partial measures were taken too late.
Reminding the meeting held in Çankaya Presidential Palace with the coronovirus agenda under the chairmanship of President Erdoğan on March 18, Istanbul Medical Chamber Member of the Board of Director Dr. Osman Öztürk, stated that many levels of the state attended the meeting including the Presidency of Religious Affairs to the Ministry of Commerce but the  health professional organizations were not invited to the meeting.
Expressing that they learned from the press that the former Commander of the Land Forces lost his life from the coronavirus, Öztürk stated that this development is an indication of the transparency of the process. Öztürk, noting that the provinces and districts where the tests were carried out were not disclosed even in a situation where the epidemic spread rapidly, said that the information about how many tests were positive was not shared correctly either.
Öztürk, who said that the government “is not clean,” about informing the people correctly and behaving transparently in such situations, said that they did meet with the previous health ministers as TTB sometimes, but that they met with the Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca, who has been on duty for 2.5 years, on 11 March for the first time since he took office. Sharing that all previous requests for visits and meetings were not accepted, Öztürk said: "The government does not want to share the gravity of the situation with the society. Therefore, they do not want to include political parties and the NGO's at the meetings."

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