In Guidance to COVID-19 of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health, Turkey uses a definition of COVID-19 which includes WHO definition and additionally, a national definition of COVID-19 according to national cases. It is outlined in detail in the document: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health (General Directorate of Public Health), Guidance to COVID-19 (SARES CoV2 infection) (dated 14 April 2020, seventh update).
Probable and confirmed cases are determined according to the following criteria:
• At least one symptom and finding of fever and acute respiratory tract disease (cough and respiratory distress) AND
• Clinical picture unexplained with another etiology AND
• Travel history 14 days before the onset of symptoms of the patient or a close contact
• At least one symptom and finding of acute respiratory tract disease (cough and respiratory distress) AND
• Contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within 14 days before the onset of symptoms
• At least one symptom and finding of fever and severe acute respiratory tract disease (cough and respiratory distress) AND
• The necessity of hospitalization (SARI)* AND
• Clinical picture unexplained with another reason/disease
* SARI the necessity of hospitalization of a patient with acute respiratory infection developed within the last 14 days, due to fever, cough and dyspnea, tachypnea, hypoxemia, hypotension and common radiological findings in chest radiography and changes in consciousness
D: Sudden onset of fever with cough and respiratory distress without a runny nose.
Confirmed Case: any case of infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus through molecular techniques from the cases that fit to the definition of probable case.
Probable/Confirmed COVID-19 cases are managed according to the Case Follow-up Algorithm (see Section 3.2 Managing cases).
Contact tracing of confirmed cases is carried out approximately 4600 special teams. On 7 April 2020, Minister announced that the Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project was developed to stem the spread of COVID-19 by tracking patients diagnosed with the disease and ensuring that they adhere to the government's quarantine procedure. The system uses location data from patients’ mobile devices.
On 19 April 2020, MoH launched an application for smartphones that enables people to detect and monitor the COVID-19 cases in their districts. According to an official government statement the application shows the risk level, the density of infected people and the density of people in isolation at the users’ locations.
• Serologic screening: Health Minister reported on the seroprevalence survey that is currently taking place country-wide: a total of 118,000 people have been screened out of 153,000 planned to be screened in total. The positivity rate for persons tested for COVID-19 PCR is 2,8 per 1000 and the positivity rate of those tested for antibody is 8,1 per 1000. The antibody positivity rate is slightly higher in some provinces, such as Adiyaman, Istanbul, above 3 % and 2.8 percent in Gaziantep.
• MoH started to release daily and weekly situation reports on COVID-19 to provide a summary of weekly epidemiological trends. In the past there were only daily release of numbers of deaths, ICU cases, number of intubated, number of cured and new cases. The new reports are published online in an organized and regular way through open sources to provide epidemiological information for those interested. The data is also published in English.
With the contributions of distinguished academics from Turkey and with the technical cooperation of WHO, a training program for the healthcare professionals of the Turkic Council member countries is commencing with an agenda that focuses on the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and control of COVID-19
Minister of Interior: Within the scope of coronavirus measures, the HES code system, which was implemented especially at the entrance to public institutions). The HES code application, which became mandatory in all public institutions and organizations after the circular issued by the MoI within the scope of combating COVID-19, started on 23 September. The HES code system works by citizens downloading an application to their mobile phones to see if there are any contact or positive cases in the market, park or indoor environment (among those who use the application actively). Also, if citizens will go to a public institution or travel between cities, they need to get an HES code proving that they are not sick. They get this code via application from the system, and traveling without this code is prohibited.