Turkey, World, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkey: Defense Ministry 'on alert' over coronavirus

New measures against virus cover Turkey's domestic, international operations, security of borders, and military drills

Sarp Ozer   | 17.03.2020
Turkey: Defense Ministry 'on alert' over coronavirus

ANKARA

With Turkey's Defense Ministry "on alert" against coronavirus, military schools and institutions affiliated to the National Defense University will be closed until April 13, with a host of other measures in the military announced Monday to combat the virus' spread.

"Like the rest of the world, last week [the Turkish military] implemented many measures against coronavirus that threaten public health in our country," and now new measures are in order, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters.

The measures will be done in such a way to not impair Turkey's domestic and international operations, the security of its borders, and other activities of the Turkish Armed Forces, he added.

Activities such as ceremonies, conferences, short-term meetings, courses, fairs and seminars were also canceled, he said.

No visitors are allowed to unions, headquarters and institutions during this period, he added.

"National and international drills have been postponed. Temporary missions abroad are also stopped until further order. Staff who are currently abroad will be subject to health checks on their return home, and their contact with other staff will be prevented for a certain period of time," he explained.

Border patrol units have been reorganized and provided with special protective clothing and masks to protect them from the virus, he said.

He stressed the moves are meant to protect the staff and the nation from the virus.

Additional measures may be taken as needed in coordination with relevant ministries and institutions, especially the Health Ministry, he said.

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.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.