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Turkey quarantines 366 expats evacuated from Iraq

April 21, 2020 at 9:31 pm

An interior view of Ataturk Airport in Istanbul Turkey on 22 March, 2019 [İsa Terli/Anadolu Agency]

Over 350 Turkish nationals who were evacuated from Iraq were placed under a 14-day quarantine Tuesday to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The 366 expats in the capital Baghdad came into Turkey by bus via the Habur border gate in the southeastern Sirnak province.

After health checks, they were sent to the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir and Batman for a 14-day quarantine in dormitories in line with the country’s strict measures to stem the virus’ spread.

READ: Turkey evacuates nationals from Kuwait, Libya

In a bid to enforce social distancing, they will stay separately in single rooms.

The evacuation was carried out in coordination with Vice President Fuat Oktay and the Foreign Ministry under the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Starting weeks ago, Turkey was one of the very first countries to step into action and bring back thousands of its nationals from Asia and Europe.

Nearly 2,000 Turkish citizens have been evacuated from Iraq so far via airway and highway.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Iraq so far is 1,574, and a total of 1,043 people have recovered, while 82 people died so far.

READ: Turkey extends military service to contain Covid-19 spread

After being first detected in China late last year, the virus has spread to 185 countries and regions. It has killed some 172,000 people and infected 2.5 million, while nearly 660,800 have recovered, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.