‘There is no mutated virus originated in Turkey’
1 Brazilian, 49 South African variants of coronavirus seen in Turkey so far, says health minister
There is no mutated coronavirus that originated in Turkey, while the rate of infections related to the British strain is rising in the country, said the health minister on Thursday.
“One Brazilian, 49 South African variants of the coronavirus have been recorded in Turkey so far,” Fahrettin Koca told a news conference following a Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board meeting in the capital Ankara.
He warned all citizens about the mutated virus as the infection number is increasing each day in the country.
Turkey is approaching the end of the first stage of the vaccination drive with over 8 million people, including nearly 1.5 million having received the second dose, vaccinated so far.
“Turkey will have 105 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of May at the latest,” he said, adding that the country will initially receive 800,000 doses of the BioNTech vaccine out of 4.5 million, and efforts will be put to raise it to 5 million in total.
There is no supply or planning problem in the vaccination process and the second doses for all who have received the first dose of the vaccine are guaranteed, he added.
To avoid a possible supply problem, it is necessary to domestically develop a COVID-19 vaccine, Koca stressed.
On Turkey's COVID-19 vaccine development, he said Phase 2 may end in April and the country may advance to Phase 3 in late April.
"We are now in a period preceding the normalization and prioritizing the effects of the pandemic on social life, it is a period of taking the right decisions," he noted.