Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that there might be citizens who have been already infected by the coronavirus of whom the authorities are not aware of.
“We know that there is an epidemic at our door. Maybe during this period, there might be people among us who are already carrying this virus,” Koca said during a press meeting on March 2. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Turkey so far.
Koca also said that if a Turkish citizen has traveled to Iran, China, Italy, Iraq and South Korea within the last 14 days, they should, to the extent possible, spend their time at home for two weeks and they will be granted leave of absence from work during this period.
“We ask those who have come [to Turkey] from these countries, which we see as quarantined areas, to not go to crowded areas for 14 days and in case of a [illness] symptom, as in high fever or coughing, to wear masks and apply to authorities,” he said.
The minister said a total of 13,834 people in Turkey have so far gone through health check-up for the virus and none of them tested positive.
Turkey has already suspended all flights from and to China and Iran. And in a new move, on Feb. 29, the country halted passenger flights to and from Iraq, Italy and South Korea in the wake of an increasing number of coronavirus infections and deaths in those countries.
Koca said in a written statement on Feb. 29 that the measure will be effective at 12 a.m. on March 1, adding that land crossings between Turkey and neighboring Iraq had also been stopped.