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Turkey makes coronavirus treatment free

Health officers take care of coronavirus patients at Medicana Kadikoy hospital in Istanbul, Turkey on 11 April 2020 [Şebnem Coşkun/Anadolu Agency]
Health officers take care of coronavirus patients at Medicana Kadikoy hospital in Istanbul, Turkey on 11 April 2020 [Şebnem Coşkun/Anadolu Agency]

Following a presidential decree made yesterday, treatment for coronavirus in Turkey's public hospitals will be completely free of charge. Patients will be provided protective gear and testing, in addition to medicine, even if they failed to pay state insurance.

Citing an anonymous Turkish official, Middle East Eye reported that the government had already begun allowing every citizen to benefit from the free health services.

"Even the citizens who failed to pay the monthly premium for the state insurance are covered until December," the official said.

In the past 24 hours, Turkey witnessed a rise in fatalities of 107, bringing the total reported death toll to 1,403. There are now 65,111 cases of the virus. According to a senior health official Turkey is currently treating 1,809 patients in intensive care units.

READ: Turkey: 17 COVID-19 cases in open prisons, 3 dead

TRT World reported that Health Minister Fahrettin Koca stated that 33,070 tests were carried out over the past day, with the overall number reaching 443,626.

In efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, a bill passed by parliament will lead to 45,000 prisoners – nearly one-third of Turkey's incarcerated population – being freed. Cahit Ozkan, deputy parliamentary group leader for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) told reporters yesterday that this number will increase to 90,000 to include those under house arrest. However the move has been criticised for excluding journalists and political prisoners detained on "terrorism" charges.

READ: Stranded in Turkey, Palestinians appeal to Abbas to help them return to Gaza

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CoronavirusEurope & RussiaNewsTurkey
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