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Turkey sends 500,000 coronavirus test kits to US

Officials carry out disinfection work as part of precautions against the coronavirus (COVID-19), on 19 March 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey [Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu/Anadolu Agency]
Officials carry out disinfection work as part of precautions against the coronavirus (COVID-19), on 19 March 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey [Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has sent 500,000 coronavirus test kits to the United States upon their request, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said yesterday.

In a speech to Turkish parliament (TBMM), Koca said Ankara aims to rapidly increase its own testing and had a target of carrying out 10,000 to 15,000 tests per day.

He also said more than 10,000 tests have so far been carried out.

“We think this number will increase in the upcoming days. Our goal is to conduct 15,000 tests per day,” he said, addressing parliament, where he briefed lawmakers about Turkey’s measures against the coronavirus.

READ: Erdogan advises Turks to stay home, acts to boost economy against coronavirus

According to the ministry, the number of the laboratories used to examine test resylts will also increase from 25 to 36. He added that all metropolises in Turkey will soon be able to conduct COVID-19 tests.

Turkey aims to bring into force a quick-diagnosis test, which will be distributed to all provinces. The kits are expected to arrive today, the country’s minister said.

Iran and Italy were responsible for the virus’ spread around the world and Europe, he added.

“Iran caused the virus to get spread to all the countries. Italy caused the spread in Europe by allowing those arriving from China to roam in the country,” he said.

READ: Turkey closes border gates with Greece, Bulgaria

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also asked lawmakers to applaud health workers for their hard work and sacrifices.

People across Turkey gave a huge round of applause, accompanied by cheers and congratulations, from their balconies and windows to show their gratitude for healthcare workers on the frontline battling coronavirus.

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Asia & AmericasCoronavirusEurope & RussiaNewsTurkeyUS
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