Turkey, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkey repatriating nationals while fighting off virus

Nearly 26,000 citizens from 73 countries have applied to return to Turkey, says Vice President Fuat Oktay

Ahmet Sertan Usul   | 22.04.2020
Turkey repatriating nationals while fighting off virus

ANKARA 

Turkey is working hard to bring back its nationals stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic while working to stem its further spread, said the nation’s vice president on Wednesday.

“Currently we have nearly 26,000 citizens who have applied [for evacuation] from 73 countries,” Fuat Oktay told Anadolu Agency.

Oktay said that upon their return to home soil, Turkish citizens coming from abroad are spending 14 days in quarantine at 87 student dormitories in 73 of Turkey’s 81 provinces.

On combating coronavirus, Oktay said: “With its health investments, and city hospitals, Turkey was confident [in fighting the virus].”

He praised the Health Ministry for organizing infrastructure “very quickly” to battle the virus.

“At this point, we have set an example to the entire world,” Oktay added.

Until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in late May, Turkey is expected to continue to wage a serious effort against the virus, he added.

Oktay said as they hopefully bring the virus under control, Turkey can celebrate a second holiday as the Muslim world prepares to mark the Eid holiday at the end of Ramadan.

Turkey has registered nearly 95,600 coronavirus cases, with its death toll currently at 2,259.

Since appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions.

Data compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University shows worldwide infections at over 2.56 million, with the death toll above 177,000. More than 687,000 people have recovered.

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