Dr. Kasım Çelik spoke about the recent situation in Turkey’s eastern province of Agri, on the border with Armenia and the Azerbaijani enclave of Nakhichevan: “The whole of Agri acts as if there is no coronavirus. Very few people wear masks, shopping malls and cafes , the air conditioners work at full … ”
In fact, before 1 June, when the rather strict measures against COVID-19 were in force throughout Turkey, the number of new cases and deaths decreased. However, with the opening of many shops such as cafes, restaurants and barbershops, the number of cases has started to increase again.
The number of daily cases reported by the Ministry of Health is still over 1,000. But while Kurdish-majority provincials have seen an increase in the number of cases, patients cannot find hospitals to treat them. These patients who are considered to be in relatively better condition are either sent home or treated only after others have left.
Patients can not be hospitalized
After the provinces of Van, Edessa (Urfa), Mardin, Diyarbakir and Gaziantep, hospitals are now full in the eastern province of Ağrı in Turkey. Speaking to bianet about the issue, the president of the Medical Chamber of Agri, Dr. Kasım Çelik stated that there are 3,500 cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Noting that the hospitals in Agri are 100% full, he said:
“There are three pandemic hospitals in Agri, one in the city center and the other two in Doubayazit and Patnos. All three of these hospitals are completely full. Combined with the COVID-19 tests and the medical imaging, there are almost 3,500 COVIDs. -19 patients 251 patients in Agri Public Hospital, about 100 in regional hospitals and the rest are monitored in isolation and quarantine in their homes.
“As there are no beds available in hospitals, patients who are in relatively better condition are sent home and have to go to private hospitals daily to be monitored. Some of them do not follow the quarantine rules and go out, which increases the prevalence. We could not find a hospital to treat a colleague, a general surgeon, who had been ill with COVID-19.His family drove him to Ankara, more than 12 hours by car.We can not treat a single health professional, the the situation is so serious. ”
Surgeries are constantly postponed
Pointing out that there are patients waiting for surgery, Dr. Çelik said, “Because of the pandemic, people can not come to hospitals for their diseases that need treatment. There are patients who have to undergo surgery, but their surgeries “In addition, it also leads to a very serious public health problem.”
Shopping malls, cafes are full
According to Dr. Çelik, people behave as if there is no coronavirus in Agri:
“The whole city acts as if there is no virus. While very few people wear masks, the rules of social distance are ignored in crowded places such as cafes and shopping malls. Shopping malls and cafes are full, air conditioners are active in malls. In addition , the border gate in Doubayazit is open and there is a serious influx of refugees, which also increases the number of cases.
It will get worse if no action is taken
“There are 3,500 patients now. It is too much compared to the population of the city. Given that autumn and winter will be harsh, we may face situations that we can not limit. Therefore, strict measures must be taken in “31 provinces, as was the case before. Otherwise, the current picture will deteriorate even more.”
No protective equipment in primary care
Concluding his remarks, Dr. Çelik also referred to the working conditions of the healthcare workers in Agri. Noting that 121 doctors have been infected with the coronavirus, he said briefly:
“The health staff is very tired, they are exhausted. An adjustment must be made to the working conditions of the health workers. So exhausted, they can not go out in both autumn and winter.
In addition, health professionals in Health Centers are not provided with protective equipment, they are asked to buy it themselves. “If primary care workers are not adequately protected, the spread of the disease will increase even more,” he said.