ISTANBUL: The first phase of a new mega-hospital, which will be used for treating COVID-19 patients, was inaugurated on Monday in Turkey's biggest city Istanbul.
The inpatient services of the gynecology and pediatric clinics of the Basaksehir City Hospital were put into service, which are used as pandemic hospitals for the time being.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, "Thus, today, we have added 1,035 qualified beds, including 155 intensive care beds, to our health system," he noted.
The health care complex will have a total of 2,682 beds, with 458 intensive care beds, when all phases will be completed next month.
"All the beds of our Basaksehir City Hospital have an intensive care infrastructure and all of them can be converted into intensive care standards when necessary," Koca also pointed out.
Meanwhile, the minister noted that Turkish engineers manufactured 100 domestic intensive care ventilators which are ready to be used for the first time in the hospital.
Speaking at the ceremony, Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said, "dozens of engineers came together ... and they obtained the first batch of indigenous intensive care ventilators from the mass production line in just 14 days."
According to Varank, Turkey will be able to produce 5,000 ventilators in total by the end of May.
Attending the ceremony via video conference, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "we are appreciating the importance of being self-sufficient and even beyond that, being able to help our friends."
For Ceyhun Dundar, a physician and head of the Fit Medical Center, the Basaksehir City Hospital would provide lifeline support in the fight against the outbreak of COVID-19 in Istanbul, the epicenter of the virus in the country.
In Dundar's view, COVID-19 patients have been putting an extra load on the health system due to long intensive care and treatment periods.
"Therefore, every new hospital will present significant relief," he told Xinhua.
Turkey has been building two other hospitals for COVID-19 patients in Istanbul in the Ataturk airport area on the European side of the city and the Sancaktepe district on the Asian side.
The death toll of the virus in Turkey climbed to 2,017 and the confirmed cases totaled 86,306 on Sunday, according to the latest figures of the Health Ministry.