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Turkey will declare asymptomatic COVID-19 cases as of next week: paper

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey will start declaring the number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases from Oct. 15, its health minister said in remarks published on Sunday, following criticism that its disclosure of only symptomatic cases hid the extent of infections.

At the end of July, Turkey changed the wording of its daily coronavirus report to show the number of “patients” instead of “cases” . At a news conference on Sept 30, Koca said that the government was only sharing the number of COVID-19 positive cases with symptoms.

Medics and opposition parties criticised the practice, saying it was aimed at hiding the real scale of the pandemic and was meant to keep the economy moving.

“We will start (releasing all the numbers) on 15th,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca was quoted as saying in an interview with daily newspaper Hurriyet.

“We will share the cross sectional screening results even though they show no symptoms. We will report these to the World Health Organisation (WHO).”

Cross sectional screening tests are being conducted at airports, prisons and to people going abroad among others, Koca also said according to the interview.

Turkey was put on England’s quarantine on arrival list following its acknowledgement that it did not publish the full number of daily positive COVID-19 cases.

Turkey will continue to conduct field screening tests for coronavirus cases, Koca said according to interview.

Turkey has reported 1,500 symptomatic coronavirus patients a day in recent weeks on average, while total deaths due to the respiratory disease stand at 8,778, according to health ministry data.

(Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun, Editing by William Maclean)

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Cities Declare Racism a Health Crisis, but Some Doubt Impact | Wisconsin News

By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Christy DeGallerie noticed a startling trend in her online group for coronavirus survivors: White patients got medications she’d never heard of, were offered X-rays and their doctors listened to their concerns.

That wasn’t her experience. When the 29-year-old Black woman sought a COVID-19 test at a New York emergency room, a nurse said she didn’t have a fever. DeGallerie appealed to a doctor of color, who told the nurse to check again. It registered 101 degrees.

“We know our pain is questioned and our pain is not real to them,” said DeGallerie, who later started a group for Black COVID-19 survivors. “Getting medical help shouldn’t be discouraging for anyone. It is a discouraging place for Black people.”

Addressing experiences like DeGallerie’s has become a priority for a growing number of local governments, many responding to a pandemic that’s amplified racial disparities and the call for racial justice after the police killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans. Since last year, about 70 cities, roughly three dozen counties and three states have declared racism a public health crisis, according to the American Public Health Association.

Local leaders say formally acknowledging the role racism plays not just in health care but in housing, the environment, policing and food access is a bold step, especially when it wasn’t always a common notion among public health experts. But what the declarations do to address systemic inequalities vary widely, with skeptics saying they are merely symbolic.

Kansas City, Missouri, and Indianapolis used their declarations to calculate how to dispense public funding. The mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, a mostly white community of roughly 40,000, used a declaration to make Juneteenth a paid city employee holiday. The Minnesota House passed a resolution vowing to “actively participate in the dismantling of racism.” Wisconsin’s governor made a verbal commitment, while governors in Nevada and Michigan signed public documents.

“It is only after we have fully defined the injustice that we can begin to take steps to replace it with a greater system of justice that enables all Michiganders to pursue their fullest dreams and potential,” Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II said in a statement.

Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County takes credit for being the first with its May 2019 order. It acted because of sobering health disparities in Wisconsin’s most populous county, where nearly 70% of the state’s Black residents live. It’s the only county with a significantly higher poverty rate than the state average, 17.5% compared with 10.8% statewide, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison report.

County officials developed a “racial equity budget tool,” requiring departments to explain plans to hire and retain a diverse workforce and how budgets affect disadvantaged communities.

“The framing helped accelerate the conversation, not only stakeholders could actually grasp and understand,” said Jeff Roman, head of the county’s Office on African American Affairs.

Kansas City was another early adopter in August 2019. Councilwoman Melissa Robinson called it a new decision-making lens.

For instance, when the