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Coronavirus: Turkey backing intense R&D to find vaccine

Technology minister says institutes, research infrastructure working nonstop to find coronavirus vaccine

Sevgi Ceren Gokkoyun   | 17.03.2020
Coronavirus: Turkey backing intense R&D to find vaccine

ANKARA

Amid official efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus, the Turkish government is providing support to institutes and researchers in the country working to find vaccines, Turkey's top technology official said Tuesday.

"We fund and coordinate the studies through TUBITAK [the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey]," Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said during an R&D meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara.

"Our universities and research infrastructure started a more focused and intensive shift in the field of vaccine development and the fight against this virus since January," where coronavirus reached the world stage, he added.

The virus known as COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 150 countries and territories. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Out of over 183,500 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 7,100, while more than 79,900 have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.

The current number of active cases is more than 96,500, with 94% in mild condition and 6% in critical condition.

Turkey currently has 47 confirmed cases of the virus, most of them contracted through foreign visits to the U.S., EU, or Saudi Arabia. To date there have been no deaths.

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