1. Preventing transmission
The section on PREVENTING TRANSMISSION includes information on key public health measures that aim to prevent the further spread of the disease. It details how countries are advising the general public and people who (might) have the disease to prevent further spread, as well as measures in place to test and identify cases, trace contacts, and monitor the scale of the outbreak.
1.1 Health communication
Turkey started preparing itself to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic even before it was first identified in the country. A COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Board (CSAB) was established by Ministry of Health (MoH) on January 10, 2020, two months before the first case was identified in Turkey. This board’s duty was to manage the preparedness to COVID-19 and related response in the country. On January, 24 the CSAB published comprehensive guidelines for health professionals about COVID-19 which includes: general info on COVID-19, case definition and case management, and infection control and isolation.
The first COVID-19 case was identified on March, 10 2020. It was announced via live-stream by the Minister of Health which was open to public and further broadcasted on Turkish news television channels. A public website (https://covid19bilgi.saglik.gov.tr/tr/) was established under the domain of MoH Public Health General Directorate and it publishes (1) up-to-date number of COVID-19 cases, (2) general info on COVID-19, (3) CSAB recommendations to ministries, municipalities and presidency of religious affairs, (4) Q&As for public and health professionals and (5) all related informative materials including guidelines, presentations, algorithms, forms, banners/posters, materials for billboards and CLPs, brochures and leaflets for both public and health professionals. The website is frequently updated. Public service ads on COVID-19 have been broadcasted. In addition, the MoH has been publishing “Turkey Daily COVID-19 Dashboard” which includes daily and total numbers of tests performed, new cases, deaths, patients recovered, patients in intensive care units, and intubated patients on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and website. CSAB has been holding regular meetings approximately twice/thrice a week to follow and discuss on updates related to COVID-19 and make recommendations. After important CHAB meeting, the Minister announces summaries of the meeting and some statistics on daily and total COVID-19 cases via live-stream which is open to public and answering the questions of press after his speech.