Dr. Sağlam warned: Nothing is normal, pandemic is not over

MARDİN - Co-Chair of Mardin Medical Chamber Dr. Osman Sağlam warned about the tripling numbers of COVID-19 cases after the "normalization" in Turkey saying, "Nothing is normal, pandemic is not over."
There has been a serious increase in the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the eastern provinces of Turkey including Mardin, Batman, Şırnak and Diyarbakır after the "normalization" process began on June 1. It is reported that coronavirus cases in Mardin has been tripled since then. There are 250 patients in the hospitals of Mardin as the people living under quarantine at home exceeds 1,000. More than 20 people have lost their loves up to now in the city where 60 healthcare workers has already been reported to be infected.
Dr. Osman Sağlam, the Co-Chair of Mardin Medical Chamber evaluated the course of pandemic in the city and the "normalization" process.
Indicating that the pandemic process has not been handled transparently and the data that their medical chamber has been collecting differs significantly than the official data announced by the Turkish authorities Sağlam said, "The data we have acquired doubled, almost trippled the official numbers announced. We also had observations that in some cases the diagnose of the disease has been hidden and not recorded in the official list of COVID-19 patients. As a result of that we shared the data we collected and they have opened us an investigation for that."
"Is it normalization, or relaxation," asked Sağlam emphasizing that the pandemic crisis has not been managed successfully and not enough measures could have been taken. Sağlam added, "The normalization creates a public perception that the everything is back to normal and the pandemic is gone. Unfortunately the people and us, the healthcare workers have lost ourselves in this process of so-called normalization. Right now what we see in Mardin is the tripled numbers of patients diagnoed with COVID-19 in July, compared to the numbers in May."
According to Sağlam, Turkish state tries to test the "herd immunity" through the normalzation, but he does not think this is a good idea. "Making long-time plans for such a disease we have no idea how it would progress is just wrong. The community is put under the risk right now by being left alone with a patogen that they are not fully acknowledged. This has created a quantitative increase. In case of a patogen such as COVID-19 that we are not fully sure how it would behave, the herd community is not the strategy to be applied."
Sağlam takes attention to the concept of '"virulance load" as he explains that the increase has not only been observed quantitatively, but also qualitatively as the the patients he has been accepting has been coming with more severe symptoms lately. "This tells that as a result of the number of infected people increased among the society, the virulance load that the individuals are exposed to has increased."
Referring to the suggestion of World Health Organization (WHO) and Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Sağlam emphasized the "social isolation" and "stay home" measures and that these measures shall be continued noting, "Pandemic is not over. Nothing is normal and we have not normalized. We should keep taking all the measures we were taking in April and May."
MA / Ahmet Kanbal

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