UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS FROM HEALTH MINISTER, EDITS THROUGHOUT
By Busra Nur Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) – Turkiye on Wednesday lifted quarantine requirements for people with three vaccine shots when they have come into contact with COVID-19 positive people.
"All positive cases will be able to end isolation after seven days," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a video message following the virtual meeting of the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Board.
Koca added that PCR test requirements for people who have come into contact with others infected with the coronavirus was also lifted.
"From now on, PCR tests will only be conducted on people showing symptoms," he said.
Turkiye confirmed 77,722 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, hitting the biggest daily spike since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, according to the latest official data.
Omicron is currently the dominant variant in Turkey, with the number of cases up four times compared to December, Koca said, adding that hospitalizations also rose almost 10%.
On Turkiye's homegrown Turkovac vaccine, Koca said that no one should hesitate to say it out loud that the vaccine is safe to use.
Turkovac reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 by nearly 50% compared to the Chinese CoronaVac, according to a study conducted by Turkiye's leading Hacettepe University.