Anadolu Agency

While non-EU emerging countries in Central and Eastern Europe are seeking IMF assistance in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, neither Turkey nor Russia have done so, the director of the fund’s European department said on March 30.

The IMF is now facing simultaneous requests for assistance from the largest number of countries in its history, Poul Thomsen stressed.

“We are dramatically streamlining our internal rules and procedures so as to be able to respond with the speed, agility, and scale called for by this unprecedented peacetime challenge,” he said.

As the outbreak spread to dozens of countries, several international institutions, including the IMF, announced new financial packages to help countries tackle the virus’ effects on their markets.

Turkish officials said they have taken necessary steps to protect the public and the country’s economy from the pandemic’s fallout.

The virus, also known as COVID-19, has so far infected 9,217 people, and claimed 168 lives in Turkey.

Over 741,000 people are infected and over 35,100 have died in 177 countries and territories, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.