The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leading to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China at the end of 2019 has resulted in a global pandemic. On 11 March 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Turkey. The aim of this study was to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test results from the Medical Microbiology Laboratory of a pandemic hospital according to demographic data.
Retrospective cohort study.
SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test results of 413,013 samples from 194,062 patients were retrospectively analysed. Tests were carried out between 27 March and 31 December 2020 using two commercial kits. The patient’s age and gender were recorded, in addition to the percentage of positive test results per month (i.e. monthly positivity). Pearson’s Chi-squared test was used to analyse statistical significance.
Overall SARS-CoV-2 positivity in the pandemic hospital was 19.9%. Female gender and younger age (0-18 years) had a statistically significant higher positivity (P < 0.05). There was a statistically significant higher positivity in August and September.
Higher positivity among the younger population and females may be the leading cause of low COVID-19 mortality rates in Turkey as these population groups are less likely to die from the disease. Governments should disaggregate COVID-19 data by age and gender, and vaccine studies focussing on younger populations should be accelerated because this population group represents an important source of infection.

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