Turkey plans carrying out nationwide massive coronavirus tests to determine extent of spread

Turkey is planning on carrying out massive tests on up to 150,000 people across the country to see the extent of the spread of the coronavirus, the health minister has said.

As of Thursday, May 7, Turkey has carried out well over 1.2 million tests while the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has climbed to 133,721 while the death toll from the outbreak has exceeded 3,600.

Those tests will not be limited to a certain region or regions but cover the entire country. We are working together with the Turkish Statistics Institute [TÜİK] for this mass screening tests, Koca said following a Science Board meeting.

PCR and antibody tests will be used to have a clearer picture of the state of the outbreak in the country, the minister noted, adding that those 150,000 people have been selected through the sampling method.

The sample tests mark a crucial point as they will help us decide how to move forward with measures to be taken down the road. Work on the sample tests have already begun but field work will commence next week, Koca said.

The latest data confirms that the outbreak is now under control, but the threats from the coronavirus are yet far from over, he said.

We have moved to the second phase in the fight against the pandemic. Risks are here to stay for a long time. The new phase would not be a regular normalization period. Any loss of control may trigger a second wave, the minister added.

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