Turkey's Health Ministry on March 20 declared all private and foundation hospitals in the country as "pandemic hospitals" amid COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the Health Ministry's circular, all hospitals that have at least two doctors specializing in infectious diseases, pulmonology or internal diseases will serve as “pandemic hospitals.”
These hospitals will allocate a clinic and an intensive care unit for the coronavirus patients.
The president of the Ankara Medical Chamber, Vedat Bulut, said the Health Ministry's move means "the crisis is around the corner."
Bulut said that Turkey has roughly 42,000 intensive care unit beds, one third of which are in private hospitals.
If the coronavirus outbreak worsens, the Health Ministry will want to utilize the private hospitals' capacity, and this recent move will allow that, Bulut said.
Late on March 20, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the number of coronavirus cases in the country reached 670, with a total nine dead.