Turkish First Lady Emine Erdoğan announced Wednesday that her self-isolation period after testing positive for coronavirus has ended. In a tweet, she expressed gratitude to health crews and wished all COVID-19 patients well.
The first lady and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tested positive for the virus on Feb. 5. The couple was in self-isolation in their residence in Istanbul. The infection did not affect their daily routine as they experienced only mild symptoms. The president’s self-isolation process ended last Thursday after he tested negative but the first lady had to quarantine longer. The president said Monday that the first lady was still positive and would not be able to accompany him in his landmark visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The couple was fully vaccinated against coronavirus, so they suffered only a mild bout of illness rather than severe symptoms. Both were infected with omicron, a fast-spreading strain of coronavirus that has caused an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases in the country, though experts say the new strain is less fatal.
Still, daily figures are raising concern among the public. Daily fatalities have reached 309, the highest in months, while new daily cases have exceeded 94,000. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca urged elderly citizens and those with chronic illnesses to exercise more caution after the data was released. "The fact that infections due to omicron are generally experienced lighter doesn't mean everything else is going fine. Let's first not forget that death figures are high," Koca said on Twitter.