Turkey says asymptomatic patients will be included in COVID-19 figures

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Saturday that asymptomatic patients will be included in official COVID-19 figures as of Oct. 15, Hürriyet reported.

"From now on, we will share the cross-sectional surveys with the public. We will share even if the patient has no symptoms," Hürriyet cited Koca as saying.

He said the figures will be presented to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On Oct. 1, the minister said not all positive COVID-19 cases were being recorded in Turkey’s official statistics, appearing to acknowledge a crucial distinction in the way data was collected as asymptomatic patients had been excluded from the daily tally.

Opposition politicians as well as some doctors have expressed scepticism over the government’s figures, saying the number of coronavirus cases is much higher than official figures. 

Following Koca’s remarks on the omission of asymptomatic patients from official figures, the WHO called on Turkey to harmonise its data collection and report cases in line with the globally accepted guidelines.