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Number of coronavirus cases in Turkey rises to 47 - live blog

Ahval Korona World
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said late on Monday 29 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed in Turkey, raising the tally to 47.

Twenty-six of the latest cases are related to Turks returning from the United States, the Middle East and Europe, while three cases returned from Umrah pilgrimages to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, Koca said.

The expected return of 21,000 Turkish nationals from the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia over the next few days has sparked fears that there could be a large leap in the number of cases. Some 10,300 Turkish nationals returning from the Kingdom were placed under a 14-day quarantine in university dormitories in Ankara and the central province of Konya in order to contain the spread.

While the Health Ministry has held its silence on the number of Turks tested for the novel virus, Habertürk columnist Muharrem Sarıkaya cited ministerial sources as saying 2,800 people had undergone tests since the first COVID-19 diagnosis. Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chairman Sinan Adıyaman said on Monday the number of cases in the country could be far higher than currently announced, adding that the Health Ministry’s approach lacked transparency.

The Turkish government introduced new measures to halt the spread of the virus, suspending congregational prayers at mosques and closing restaurants, cafes, movie theaters, wedding and event venues. Flights from a total of 20 countries have been banned.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Monday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would announce financial and economic measures to combat the impact of the coronavirus after chairing a high-level meeting on the virus on Wednesday.
Last Modified: Tuesday، 17 March 2020 02:52 PM