More transparent data confirms Turkey leapfrogs Iran to have Middle East’s worst coronavirus crisis

By bne IntelIiNews December 14, 2020

In terms of infections, Turkey now officially has the worst coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the Middle East, data updated following Ankara’s decision to offer more transparency about the extent of the virus crisis in the country has shown.

Previously, Turkey was only reporting its official number of symptomatic coronavirus cases. Lately, it started also releasing its numbers on asymptomatic cases, but until the end of last week, was not stating how many asymptomatic cases Turkey had logged since the start of the outbreak in March. That figure is now included in the data set, and by the end of December 13 Turkey had officially recorded 1,836,728 cases, symptomatic and asymptomatic combined, the eighth biggest total in the world. For comparison, Iran has officially recorded 1,108,269 cases, the 15th biggest tally in the global table.

However, Turkey claims to have recorded only 16,417 COVID-19 deaths compared to Iran’s 52,196. That disparity will fuel concerns among Turkish medical associations that Turks are still not getting the full picture as to the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in their country.

Both Iran and Turkey have a population of around 83mn people.

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