Turkey’s response to COVID-19 pandemic: strategy and key actions

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Barlas G., Öztürk H., Pehlivantürk G., Aydin S.

Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences, vol.51, no.Special Issue 1, pp.3150-3156, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: Special Issue 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3906/sag-2106-212
  • Journal Name: Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.3150-3156
  • Keywords: COVID-19, pandemics, prevention, Turkey, vaccines
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


COVID-19 emerged at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China, and spread rapidly around the world causing many deaths. Due to the intercontinental escalation in the epidemic, while WHO declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, our country’s first case was diagnosed. Before this, the MoH established the Operations Center against possible risks regarding the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan on January 10, 2020 and formed the Scientific Committee, which has a critical importance in epidemic management. National and Provincial Pandemic Coordination Boards were established within the scope of this plan. Fast, effective and frequently updated decisions were implemented. The epidemic was kept under control by stopping mutual flights to countries with cases, intermittent curfews, transportation restrictions, closure of schools, filiation, social isolation, use of PPE, social media communication, and intensive work of healthcare workers. Softwares were developed for analysis and data reporting, case and contact tracing. Various mobile applications were developed providing a safe social life in social areas and enabling filiation teams to intervene in the necessary areas in the fastest way and to record data instantly in the system. Prior to normalization process, “COVID-19 Epidemic Management and Working Guide” was prepared including epidemic measures for social life, institutions, organizations, and businesses. Variants of concern, recommended by WHO to be monitored, led to an increase in the number of cases around the world. In our country, the number of laboratories and tests were expanded to monitor variant viruses. Vaccination activities continue in line with the National Vaccine Administration Strategy. In the fight against pandemic, it will be possible to maintain and increase our country’s acquisitions so far, owing to the strong health infrastructure both in terms of manpower and institutions, free health care, success in the production of PPE and medical devices, and finally, rapid acceleration of the vaccination.