Dr. Fahrettin Koca delivered a statement about 140 passengers brought in to Turkey from Iran.
Koca commented: "As you know, flights from Iran had been suspended on Sunday. A private flight by Turkish Airlines carrying Turkish nationals from Tehran, some of which were found to have traveled to Qom and Mashhad and some had cold symptoms, was landed to Ankara. Our facilities in Istanbul are also ready and equipped to deal with such a situation but we opted for Ankara."
Koca also noted that the passengers and cabin crew arrived from Iran were quarantined at Zekai Tahir Burak Hospital and Bilkent Clinical Guest House to not take any risks.
"Bilkent Clinical Observation Guest House used for the first time"
With regard to Bilkent Clinical Observation Guest House, Koca commented:
"Bilkent Clinical Observation Guest House is a separate facility. First examinations were carried out here and samples were collected. None of the passengers or the cabin crew members had a fever or any other symptom that can indicate a disease at the initial examination. Right now, we have 132 passengers and 8 cabin crew members. None of them have fever. 4 patients have cough and 2 have sore throat. So, their medical condition is good. We are testing the samples. I believe we will have the results in a few hours. We will share them with the public.
"They will be quarantined for 14 days"
Providing information about land border crossings, Minister said:
"We let Iranian nationals out of the country. We allow Turkish nationals to cross the border followed by a medical examination and a 14-day quarantine period if they had been to Qom or Mashhad. Other passengers are informed to remain under observation for 14 days.
Tests of suspected Turkish nationals, who were under observation or quarantine, turned out negative. So, there are no coronavirus patients in Turkey."
When asked about private flights from Iran to Turkey and conditions of passengers who were brought to Turkey via these flights, Koca said: "Some of them are under quarantine, some are under observation and some returned home. They are being monitored by their family practitioners and relevent provincial health directorates."
"I spoke with the President"
Noting that he spoke with the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a few times, Koca added:
"He is closely following the developments. He instructed us and the Scientific Board to take whatever measures we need to take."
"We will help out Iran"
Pointing out that Turkey would send aid to China via a cargo plane, Minister said: "Iran also requested diagnostic kits, we will dispatch them tomorrow."