TRNC Ministry Of Health Coronavirus Press Release

As known, in DECEMBER 2019, a respiratory infection caused by a newly emerging virus was reported to the World Health Organisation in Wuhan city in Hubei, China. On January 7, the name of the new virus was announced by China as the new Coronavirus 2019.

The third of the WHO (World Health Organization) status reports, which were closely monitored by our Ministry, was published on 23.1.2020. In this report, the number of cases reported to WHO since the beginning of January has been announced as 581. It was stated that 571 of 581 cases were reported from China, 95 of them were severe and 17 cases were fatal. In addition, 10 other cases were reported from Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and the USA.

In the risk assessment by WHO regarding this situation, which is accepted as an epidemic, it was stated that the virus is a high-risk public health threat in China and other countries of the region, while it is a moderate public health risk globally. At the Emergency Committee established in accordance with the International Health Regulations (IHR) of WHO, it was expressed that in their opinion there is no public health problem at an international level regarding the epidemic. However, they stated that they accept the urgency and importance of the issue and said that they would come together again and evaluate the situation.

Although there is no such outbreak in our country at this moment, our Ministry decided to hold the first risk assessment meeting regarding the new corona virus infection which was held on 24th January.

The Minister of Health, Dr Ali Pilli, organised and chaired the meeting. Other participants were the Undersecretary of the Ministry, the Director of the Ministry, the Managers of the TSHD and YTKD, the President of the Medical Association, the relevant persons working in epidemic management, the infection specialists, the Child Clinic Chief and the representative of the Ministry of Transport.

At the meeting, the measures to be taken in order not to experience a possible epidemic in our country were decided by discussing what to do in the case of a person with the disease caused by this virus.

As a result of the evaluations made, our Ministry asks our people to pay attention to general hygiene issues for the moment and, if possible, not to travel to the regions where the epidemic is occurring.

In the coming days, necessary information and evaluations will be made by our Ministry in the light of new information on the subject.


What is coronavirus 2019-nCoV?

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV comes from a large family of viruses. This virus family has viruses such as cold, SARS (2002) and MERS (2012), and was first reported to WHO (World Health Organization) in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019.

How is it transmitted?                                                        

It is predicted that this virus, originally thought to be transmitted from animal to person, can also be transmitted from person to person when new notifications from China are evaluated and outbreaks may occur in this way.

WHO considers that this virus can be transmitted in the same way, by air, since it is a virus from the coronavirus family.

What does WHO suggest regarding non-transmission in societies with coronavirus?

Washing your hands frequently with soapy water and cleaning with alcohol-based disinfectants when this is not possible.

  • Using the inside of your arm during coughing or sneezing or disposing of disposable wipes
  • Avoiding people with cough and fever as much as possible (This is also a general precaution to prevent seasonal flu)
  • People who have a fever, cough or breathing difficulties should apply to health institutions if they have a history of travel to the countries where the epidemic has occurred.
  • Avoiding the contact surfaces of animals or animals in the live animal market places in cities with regional coronavirus epidemic in the world.
  • Consumption of undercooked meat.

What are the possible sources of transmission?

With today’s information, it is thought that the virus passes from animals to humans but can then be transmitted from person to person.

It was determined that the first cases that occurred in China were related to a market where seafood was sold. However, it is stated that the virus may have passed through bats. There is no clear information about this yet.

Which countries has it spread to?

According to the WHO statement dated January 21, 2020, there are cases in China (309 people), Japan (1 person), Thailand (2 people), North Korea (1 person), Hong Kong (5 people). On January 23 a person travelling to the United States from China had contracted the virus.

What is the situation in Turkey?

On January 22, 2020 Turkey’s Minister of Health, stated that the virus does not pose a risk for Turkey at this stage, however, he announced that it has made all the preparations for a possible situation. On January 23, Turkey cancelled direct and connecting flights between Wuhan city in China and Istanbul and placed thermal cameras at the airports.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus respiratory disease?

Runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath are the known symptoms of the disease today. However, we can associate these symptoms with the new Coronavirus 2019 disease in people who have been travelling to countries where there is an epidemic, or who are in contact with a person who has been travelling and has become sick.

Is there any treatment?

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for the disease at the moment. Support therapy is provided to patients.

How fatal is it?

The virus, believed to have appeared in December 2019, has caused the death of 18 people so far. In other words, 25% of those found to be infected with the virus remained severe, while 3.4% died.

Source:  Ministry of Health