Turkey producing 1 million protective masks a week, minister says

Turkey is producing one million protectives masks, 5,000 medical overalls and 5,000 liters of alcohol-based disinfectants every week, the country’s defense minister said.

Hulusi Akar held a teleconference on Friday with commanders-in-chief of the armed forces to discuss preventive measures against the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have mobilized all fronts of the ministry to win the fight led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” said Akar.

He added that 650 staff had come from abroad since March 1 and had been quarantined. Of them, 84 remain under observation.

Akar recalled that Turkey had dispatched medical aid to Italy and Spain, the nations worst hit in Europe by the novel coronavirus.
On Friday, the municipalities of Istanbul and Ankara announced that passengers not wearing masks would not be allowed in mass transit starting on Saturday as a further measure against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Turkey has taken a series of other measures to try to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, from closing schools, quarantining around 50 towns and areas and imposing a 24-hour curfew for people 65 or older.

The country has registered 20,921 coronavirus cases so far, while the death toll stands at 425. A total of 484 people have fully recovered following treatment.

Since appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 181 countries and regions.

Data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University shows worldwide infections surpassing 1.1 million with nearly 59,000 deaths. An excess of 226,000 have recovered.


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