Turkey on Saturday confirmed 1,248 new covid-19 infections as total cases reached 186,493.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 death toll increased by 22 to 4,927 in past 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Twitter.
More than 1,300 recovered from the disease on the last day.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Marmara University Prof. Dr. Asaf Ataseven Hospital in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey successfully overcame the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a high number of intensive care unit beds that neared the total number in the whole of Europe and over a million health personnel.
“Turkey has successfully got through this process with the number of intensive care unit beds, which neared the total capacity of that in the whole of Europe and nearly 1,100,000 health personnel,” Erdoğan said.
He said thanks to the general health insurance system in Turkey – which is rare in the world in terms of its coverage – the country has reached a position that it can give free-of-charge health service to its citizens.
Erdoğan reminded that two emergency hospitals with 1,008 beds each, Başakşehir Cam and Sakura City Hospital with 2,682 beds and Okmeydanı Prof. Dr. Cemil Taşçıoğlu City Hospital with 600 beds were also opened in Istanbul during the outbreak.
The president also warned the Turkish nation of increased case and death numbers from the coronavirus and called on people to continue using masks, keep social distance and give importance to hygiene.
Strengthening health infrastructure
Koca told the ceremony that Turkey has taken another step by opening another hospital that will further strengthen the country’s health care system.
Noting that the novel coronavirus outbreak showed the world the importance of investing in health, Koca said it also shows why these investments should be in the center of the development.
He added that countries need a solid health system, developed infrastructure and committed health workers more in such times.
“Firstly, the risk of outbreak isn’t over,” Koca said, adding the normalization process does not mean taking a step backward.
He also said that controlled social life is also key during the process and urged people to keep adhering to social distancing rules.
Speaking about the hospital, Koca said it was partially opened due to the COVID-19 fight.
“When it starts serving at full capacity, the hospital will have 155 polyclinics, 535 beds, including 60 in intensive care and 304 single bed wards, and 28 operation theaters,” Koca added.