Turkey's coronavirus death toll surpassed 1,000 with 98 new deaths on Friday as the total number of cases top 47,029 with 4,747 new cases, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced Friday.
Koca noted that 2,423 patients have recovered from COVID-19 disease and have been discharged from hospitals. Saying that Turkey has 1.06 million employees in the healthcare sector, Koca asked Turkish people to trust the determination of this healthcare "army" to overcome the disease, however, asking citizens to strictly follow social isolation rules.
"It is normal for the number of cases to increase as the number of tests also increases. We can say that the number of hospitalized patients, patients brought to intensive care and intubated patients are stable and the pace of increase has slowed down," Koca said, adding that the next two weeks are very crucial in curbing new infections.
Occupation of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in Istanbul stands at 59.5% while normal hospital bed occupancy is 50.2%, Koca said in response to allegations voiced in the press, saying that there is no problem in that regard. The proportion of occupied beds in Turkey is at 36.3%, Koca added.
Answering a question on whether Israel asked Turkish aid to curb the coronavirus outbreak, Koca said: "There is a demand from Israel mostly for protective equipment and our talks continue, we want to help in this regard. We also dispatched protective equipment to U.K. today, in addition to more than 40 countries."
Koca also called on Turkish Parliament to unanimously adopt a draft law on preventing violence against health employees.