Turkish hospitals are grappling with a surge in patient volumes, reminiscent of the peak days of the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by the Turkish Medical Association (TTB). This surge is a result of the convergence of influenza, other seasonal viruses, and potentially new COVID-19 variants. Doctors are facing an unprecedented challenge, with overwhelming patient numbers, strained testing capabilities, and limited resources.
Family health centers in Turkey are experiencing an astonishing number of patients each day, similar to the strain felt during the peak of the pandemic. However, the absence of a national testing program and proper genomic surveillance has hindered tracking efforts and raised concerns about the potential arrival of new COVID-19 variants. This lack of testing options, especially for influenza, has forced doctors to rely on outdated trial-and-error methods.
In Istanbul, deaths have surged by 22% above the pre-pandemic average, indicating a significant increase compared to the same period last year. The lack of testing for COVID-19, influenza, and other infections makes it difficult to accurately identify causes of death, leading to potential mismanagement and unnecessary use of antibiotics.
The convergence of COVID-19, influenza, and other seasonal viruses is contributing to the overwhelming patient surge in Turkey. The absence of a national testing program hampers accurate detection and differentiation of these infections, compromising the accuracy of case numbers and the ability to provide tailored treatments.
Workplace pressures are further exacerbating the spread of diseases, with sick employees being compelled to work and infecting entire workplaces. The potential arrival of new COVID-19 variants adds another layer of complexity to the situation, emphasizing the urgent need for a comprehensive testing strategy to identify and track these variants.
Intensive care units in public hospitals are experiencing immense strain, reminiscent of the challenges faced during the peak of the pandemic. The healthcare system is on the verge of collapse, and the demand for intensive care beds continues to rise. The upcoming New Year’s Eve gatherings are expected to further increase patient numbers, placing additional strain on already stretched healthcare resources.
COVID-19 deaths in Turkey are increasing, following a similar trend observed in the United States. However, the lack of testing makes it difficult to accurately assess the true extent of the problem. The seasonal increase in cases, combined with weakened immunity against other viruses due to the ongoing pandemic, poses a serious threat to public health. Urgent action, such as the establishment of test centers, is necessary to prevent unnecessary deaths.
In response to the resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Turkey, immediate measures are crucial to address the crisis. The lack of a national testing program is a significant obstacle that needs to be overcome to effectively manage the situation. The Turkish Medical Association is calling for urgent action, including the implementation of a comprehensive testing strategy, strengthening of healthcare infrastructure, and enforcement of measures to curb the spread of infections. Proactive interventions are essential in the coming weeks to prevent further strain on the healthcare system and mitigate the impact of the ongoing health crisis.