Turkey set for 1st human virus vaccine trial - health minister

Turkey will register its first human vaccine trial for the novel coronavirus probably in two weeks, the country’s health minister at the week end.  

The subjects will be given the first dose after being kept in quarantine for five days and undergoing all necessary examinations, Fahrettin Koca said at a news conference in the southern Adana province. 

On the virus situation in Turkey, the minister urged people not to let down their guard and continue following COVID-19 safety rules. 

He said the number of virus cases is dropping in all Turkish cities except Istanbul. 

We started widespread testing and antiviral drug administration at an early period. Since then, the number of cases has decreased every day, especially over the past two to three weeks, Koca said. 

He asserted that Turkey has proven that it has an exceptional public health system, with its success during the pandemic also being hailed as an example by the World Health Organization. 

Our state is carrying out this fight [against COVID-19] with great success. We are one of the countries that are on the way to getting out of this crisis with the least damage, Koca added. 

He said the overall occupancy rate for hospital beds in Turkey is 48% at the moment, 68% for intensive care units, and 31% for ventilators. 

He said Turkey has a total of 11,800 filiation teams and 35,400 filiation personnel, which is more than the number of doctors engaged in the fight against COVID-19 in some countries.

The minister urged the public to strictly follow safety and hygiene rules to reduce the workload of the filiation teams. 

We will carry out a field study, what we call the immunity map, again on Oct. 15, he said, adding that authorities were planning to repeat it after 30 to 45 days.

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