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Turkey closes border gates with Greece, Bulgaria

March 18, 2020 at 5:27 pm

Municipality crews, wearing protective suits, disinfect public places as part of precautions against the coronavirus (COVID-19), in Adana, Turkey on 17 March 2020. [Eren Bozkurt – Anadolu Agency]

Turkey closed its borders with Greece and Bulgaria on Wednesday as part of measures against the novel coronavirus, Anadolu reports.

Passengers will not be allowed to enter or leave through the Pazarkule and Ipsala border gates and Uzunkopru railway border gate to Greece, as well as Derekoy, Hamzabeyli and Kapikule gates to Bulgaria, according to information obtained by Anadolu Agency.

Entrance through the country’s ports was also mutually suspended with both the Greek mainland and islands.

As of March 19, land or sea entrance into Turkey was banned for Greek and Bulgarian citizens, as well as for third-country nationals who were in those countries over the past 14 days.

READ: Obi Mikel quits Turkey football club over coronavirus fears 

However, freight transportation was exempted from the closure, which will continue within the parameters specified by the country’s Ministry of Health and Ministry of Trade.

Worldwide, out of over 200,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 8,000, while more than 82,500 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.

The number of active cases is more than 109,000 — 94% mild and 6% in critical condition, according to the website.

The World Health Organization has declared Europe the new epicenter of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, which first emerged in Wuhan, China last December.