Minister of Health Visits the Earthquake Zone

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Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, paid a visit to the earthquake-stricken area for inspection.

Visiting the province following a magnitude-6.8 earthquake centred on the district of Sivrice in Elazig province, Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, Minister of Interior, Süleyman Soylu, and Minister of Environment and Urbanization Murat Kurum were provided with information with regard to response efforts by Elazığ Governor Çetin Oktay Kaldırım and other officials at the crisis management center established at the Elazığ governorate.

Then, the Minister inspected the search and rescue efforts in Sürsürü ve Mustafa Paşa Mahallesi districts of Elazığ and was briefed by the officials.

At Elazığ Fethi Sekin Hospital, Koca visited earthquake victims being treated at the emergency and other services. Koca received information from hospital administrators about the conditions of the injured.

Later in the evening, the Minister went to earthquake-stricken Doğanyol district of Malatya to inspect search and rescue efforts.

Following his inspections, Koca delivered a statement saying:

"Upon the instruction of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, we arrived at the earthquake-hit regions, conducted inspections in Elazığ and Malatya provincial centers and districts and visited patients. A total of 22 people died, 18 in Elazığ and 4 in Malatya.

A total of 1031 patients sought medical care at healthcare facilities for various reasons including anxiety and panic. Personnel at hospitals, at the city hospital in particular, including Malatya and Elazığ university hospitals worked tirelessly. Out of 1031, 382 people were injured. Of 382 injured persons, 128 are still being monitored. And of these, 34 are receiving intensive care. I can safely say that there are no patients in critical condition."

Noting that 8 patients underwent surgery during the night, Koca said: "We tried not to have any gaps in terms of healthcare. We added 137 more ambulances to our already-existing fleet of 180. We also have 122 National Medical Rescue Teams and a total of 1572 personnel working on the field."

"4 field hospitals with 50 bed capacity are ready to function"

Adding that they are holding 4 field hospitals of 50 bed capacity at disposal to be cautious, Koca pointed out that there was no need to establish the hospitals yet, however 48 tents were on stand by.

Noting that there were a lot of requests made to 184 Ministry of Health Communication Center (SABIM) call center, Koca said: "We are seeing a great deal of willingness to help out. For that, I would like to thank the generous people of Turkey."

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Updated: 26/02/2020