“The Problem Is Global, Our Struggle Is National”

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Minister of Health, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, delivered a statement following the Coronavirus Scientific Committee meeting.

In his statement, Koca note that 106 countries had reported novel coronavirus cases due to lack of measures, and said: "If we had not shut down our borders with Iran, 50 thousand people per week would have crossed the border. We would have seen the epidemic all across Turkey."

Pointing out that the number of new cases in France and Germany were higher, Koca continued:

"The problem is global and our struggle is national. We can only overcome this problem nationally and with the help of the Turkish people. Risks are tangible and the rules are simple.

As of today, the total number of cases has increased to 109.498, while 3.810 people have died worldwide. And there are 60.762 recovered cases. There is no clinically diagnosed case of coronavirus in Turkey. We tested more than 2000 samples. None of them came back positive. If there is ever going to be a case in Turkey, it will be an important case."

"Try not to leave your house and wear masks"

Koca also warned Turkish nationals living abroad, especially in Europe:

"The number of cases in Europe require us to warn Turkish nationals living there. This includes residents and visitors. Everyone must take precautions. I would like to advise them to try not to leave their house and wear a mask, if they need to. And please refer to the nearest healthcare facility if you have any symptoms."

 “It is in our hands to prevent its spread”

Noting that necessary preparations were made to increase the number of testing laboratories if the number of suspected cases increase, Koca mentioned that a new laboratory was established in Erzurum due to high number of cases from Iran, and other ones would be established in Istanbul, Adana, Antalya and Izmir.

Indicating that there is no need for people to feel anxious, Koca continued:

"In our fight against the coronavirus, all public institutions and the Ministry of Health have been doing their best, more than any other country has done. It is possible to detect cases in Turkey however, it is in our hands to prevent its spread. If we all do our part, as the state and as the public, we will succeed a second time."

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Updated: 17/03/2020