As the Central Asian nation Uzbekistan struggles to contain its COVID-19 outbreak, help came from a friendly country thousands of kilometers away. Sixteen Turkish health care workers, from doctors to nurses, joined their Uzbek colleagues’ fight against the deadly virus last month. Working at hospitals across the country, doctors both share their experience with their peers and help in the treatment of patients.
The Turkish Health Ministry recently decided to dispatch a health care team to the country, which maintains close ties with Turkey. Nine doctors, six assistant health care staff and a biomedical engineer were sent to the country where the overall number of patients now stands at 44,107, according to Wednesday’s figures. Some 110 more people tested positive on Wednesday, while the total death toll is at 356 with four more fatalities. Uzbekistan has also reported that 94% of COVID-19 patients recovered from the virus, while 2,157 patients are still being treated.
Turkish doctors work in a 4,000-bed hospital built for COVID-19 patients in the capital Tashkent, as well as in hospitals in the regions of Fergana, Kashkadarya, Andijan, Namangan and Samarkand. They regularly hold videoconferences with Uzbek health care professionals to advise them on treatment methods.
A member of the Turkish delegation, Dr. Mükerrem Altuntaş, who works at a training and research hospital in the central Turkish province of Kayseri, says Uzbekistan was well-prepared against the pandemic, with its hospitals and quarantine centers, and they wanted to share their experience with them.