Member of the scientific committee Özlü: The pandemic is not over, but the disease has become commonplace

Members of the Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Health Prof. Dr. Akin Kaya and Prof. Dr. Tevfik Özlü made statements during the National Congress on Lung Health held in Antalya. teacher. Dr. Özlü said: “At this stage, it is wrong to say that the pandemic is over. The virus is still circulating. But with vaccines and Omicron, significant immunity has emerged. This has caused the disease to become commonplace and no longer a threat.”

Hundreds of lung disease specialists and thoracic surgeons from Turkey and around the world attended the National Congress on Lung Health (UASK 2022) organized by the Association for Lung Health and Critical Care (ASYOD) from March 16-19 in Antalya. More than 42 scientific sessions will be held at the HYBRID congress, which also includes online participation.

In the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, Congress President Prof. Dr. M. Emin Akkoyunlu, President of ASYOD Prof. Dr. Erdoğan Çetinkaya, President of the Scientific Committee of the Congress Prof. Dr. Ersin Günay, Congress Press Relations Officer Prof. Dr. Hadice Selimoğlu Şen and members of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Health Prof. Dr. Akin Kaya and Prof. Dr. Tevfik Ozlu were present.


Speaking at the press conference, the President of UASK Congress 2022, Mr. Emin Akkoyunlu said:

“In our congress, courses in which the theoretical and practical training of 11 main subjects in the branches of pulmonary diseases and thoracic surgery take place are also held. Our assistants have the opportunity to receive training from experienced teachers. Thus, in these courses, both our assistants and our medical specialists will be able to find answers to the questions they frequently encounter in their daily practice.

President of ASIOD Prof. Dr. Erdoğan Çetinkaya, meanwhile, said he hopes to pioneer a new era with this congress, which can be attended online or face-to-face in a hybrid congress format. teacher. Dr. Ersin Günay discussed the reasons for this problem at the congress where the importance of the covid-19 pandemic, the latest variants, vaccines and vaccination, which has been the most important agenda in the world for more than 2 years, and the long term effects of covid, especially after the severe disease process, and what to do. , stressed that the measures to be taken and effective approaches and treatments will also be discussed.


Ministry of Health corona virus member of the scientific committee Prof. Dr. Tevfik Ozlu said:

“Is the pandemic over or will it end, that is the question now. However, at the point where we are, it would not be realistic to say that the epidemic is over or that it is ending. Because the virus is still circulating, it continues to infect and kill. There are still around 1 million positive cases worldwide every day. There are approximately 4 to 5,000 dead. But now we are not as picky as 2 years ago. We got our lives back, the restrictions lifted.

Because a lot of things have changed. We know that many people have been vaccinated in Turkey and many countries around the world, although it is not enough. So if you include those who have had the disease, and that number has increased a lot with Omicron, I think there’s a very significant immunity in society. We can see that this immunity caused the disease to become commonplace and ceased to be a threat to society.


teacher. Dr. Özlü said: “Currently, the pandemic is largely under control. Now the disease is very mild, it happens standing up, it does not require intensive care most of the time. But there are exceptions to this. “Why are so many people dying, sir? you say. These are the exceptions. Those who are not adequately vaccinated, those over 65, those with chronic illnesses, or those who are immunocompromised. Individual protection measures remain important. These acquired habits must continue. “I think we will reach the summer period in a much better way. I believe the epidemic will slow down even more as the weather warms up and we get out,” he said.


Referring to concerns over BA.2, the sub-variant of Omicron, which has gone mainstream in the UK and caused the number of cases to hit 85,000 in the country in recent days, Prof. Dr. Özlü pointed out that the rising waves seen in Europe usually spill over to Turkey after 3-4 weeks and said that the same increase can be seen in our country. ozlu said:

“We also know that this new subvariant is more contagious. But there are data that it also did not cause serious illness. The majority of people currently experiencing covid in Turkey are no longer being tested. He says I have a cold and my nose is running. So I don’t think the current numbers reflect all of Kovid’s positives.

But more importantly, I think the number of cases is no longer a criterion to follow. I think commenting on the daily number of cases in the world and in Turkey and looking at them loses its value in terms of the epidemic. The main thing here should be the number of patients.

In other words, the number of patients in the intensive care unit, in the hospital and of course the number of our lost citizens should be. When we look at this data, we see that the situation is good. Of course, Omicron continues to kill, but these deaths cannot be attributed to Omicron alone. The contribution of other underlying diseases is also very important.


teacher. Özlü concluded his speech as follows:

“The virus that first emerged was once a much more serious and deadly virus. Second, we couldn’t cure this disease at that time, we didn’t know about the disease, and we didn’t know what to do. Health systems did not have the capacity to react against this. In such a situation, it didn’t make sense, it wasn’t fair to say to let people be immune.

At that time, we said that this policy of herd immunity, social immunity was wrong. But at the point where we are, Omicron is now a really mild disease. Here we have to focus on risk groups.

Moreover, although the immunity obtained (by vaccine or disease) does not protect the person 100%, it protects at least partially against a new variant which could appear later. It therefore acts as a breakwater. But we can’t talk about total immunity, don’t get me wrong. But I think this emerging herd immunity is helpful, at least in part, in controlling the outbreak.


Member of the Coronavirus Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Health Prof. Dr. Akın Kaya, on the other hand, drew attention to the need for long-term follow-up of severe covid patients, and said that the Ministry of Health has taken steps in this direction, and that covid surveillance polyclinics have been opened in public hospitals, and family doctors have been trained to follow these patients with this eye.

teacher. Dr. Kaya continued his remarks as follows:

“From our point of view, it is very important to follow the long-term effects of the disease. What is essential in long-term follow-up outpatient consultations is first of all an observation that is called pulmonary fibrosis in the pulmonary sense, which alters pulmonary functions, the quality of life of patients, and causes a shortness of breath. Pulmonary vascular diseases are also a discovery, and we are monitoring them. The second main group is related to cardiological effects.

There are also neurological findings. These follow-ups are very important for patients who have been hospitalized in the intensive care unit, received mechanical ventilation therapy, received long-term oxygen therapy, or had to be sent an oxygen device home upon discharge. and patients with chronic diseases in a certain age group. It is necessary to monitor the exercise capacity of these patients by examining their respiratory functions and chest X-rays, and if there are sequelae related to the Kovid infection they had before, will this sequelae progress? will they impair the patient’s functions, or reduce exercise capacity?

Additionally, we see post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders in many patients. What is pleasing is that in the long-term follow-up of most patients, we see that their lung damage disappears completely or decreases a lot. In some, we find that these effects persist, but lead to a slight functional impairment. These patients should also be followed for embolism.

When patients with shortness of breath and chest pain are diagnosed, our doctors are trained to see if there is a clot in the lungs, they immediately perform the relevant tests. Or, if the patient has symptoms such as hypertension, low blood pressure, arrhythmias, chest pain that are not understood, blood tests and cardiology examinations are done, with the possibility of cardiac signs have developed. DHA

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