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Turkish Health Ministry admits to posting partial COVID-19 data

Turkey’s health minister acknowledged Wednesday that state records do not reflect the full number of COVID-19 cases in the country, drawing fire from medical groups that have long claimed infection rates were underreported.
Health workers and doctors wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) hold placards reading "You cannot manage, we are dying - We are running out" during a demostration against goverments health policy on September 15, 2020 in front of Istanbul University medical faculty. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — Speaking at a weekly press briefing Wednesday, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca acknowledged that data published by the state is only a partial record of confirmed COVID-19 cases, sparking a backlash from citizens and medical groups who have criticized the government’s lack of transparency throughout the pandemic.

Koca said reported cases were limited to patients with symptoms being cared for in hospitals or elsewhere, and excluded asymptomatic individuals who tested positive for the virus.

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