The Supreme Committee on Health is deferring a decision to abolish the requirement for persons testing positive for Covid-19 but showing no symptoms to have a PCR test until the peak of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus has passed, Kibris Postasi reported.
Chairman of the Communicable Diseases Supreme Committee Dr Deren Oygar told Kibris Postasi that the decision to abolish the PCR test under those specific circumstances will likely spread worldwide.
On Wednesday, Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca stated that Turkey would abolish the PCR test requirement for asymptomatic people who have the coronavirus saying “From now on, PCR testing will only be performed on people showing symptoms.“
Recently, the UK announced that people infected with the coronavirus but who were not showing any symptoms were no longer required to take the more costly PCR test. Following the outbreak of the highly infectious but reportedly less deadly omicron variant, facilities processing PCR tests are becoming overloaded.
Dr Oygar said that the TRNC will also implement this decision in the future. “We are currently experiencing the peak of the Omicron variant. This will become clearer in a week or two. There was a Supreme Committee [on Infectious Diseases] meeting yesterday. The Committee is in favour of taking the decision in question after this peak period has passed”, he said.
No Herd Immunity Policy
Referring to accusations that the government was adopting a “herd immunity policy”, Oygar said that the government was following the science and would not be asking the public to wear masks if that was the case.
“We do not have such a policy. We only make decisions based on scientific data. Early in the pandemic, it was important to quarantine asymptomatic cases as well. Because at that time, the disease was more deadly and the immunity of the people was lower”, he said.
Stating that at this time, the immunity of individuals against the virus has increased, and this is due to both vaccination and transmission, Oygar said, “The disease has become less deadly. This is also seen in long-term charts”.
Meanwhile, Dr Oygar called on the public to continue to protect themselves against the coronavirus, Oygar said, “We make this call constantly. If we had a herd immunity policy, we wouldn’t have called for the wearing of masks“, he said.