A deputy from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has criticized the limited number of coronavirus test kits found in Turkish health centers and asked in a parliamentary question why the Health Ministry does not distribute these test kits to family health centers.
Turkey confirmed three more coronavirus cases, bringing the total tally to five, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on March 13. "All five cases are directly related," Koca told reporters at a press conference.
The"Big White Meeting" that Turkey's healthcare workers' unions were planning to hold in Ankara to protest widespread violence against healthcare workers in the country was cancelled due to the first official case of coronavirus being detected in Turkey March 10, the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) said March 11.
At least four universities in the mega-city Istanbul have announced they would be suspending on-campus classes for two weeks. Boğaziçi University became the first state institution to call off classes amid the coronavirus outbreak, moving up and extending their spring break.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca early on March 11 announced the first confirmed coronavirus case in the country. The patient is a male Turkish citizen and has been placed in quarantine, Koca said.
Only 5.8 percent of Turkish citizens are taking precautions against the coronavirus outbreak that's killed more than 4,000 people worldwide since December, a poll by private Optimar Research revealed. In contrast, 76.8 percent of participants said that they were afraid of the outbreak reaching Turkey.
Turkish Health Minister Koca has said that Iran and Europe have been slow in taking measures against the coronavirus and the situation was putting Turkey at risk. “The reason that the virus appears in 106 countries and not in Turkey is because countries were not strict in closing their borders in the earlier periods. If we had also delayed our decision to close our borders, we could have turned into Iran or Italy,” Koca said.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has advised self-isolation for Turks who have recently traveled abroad due to the novel coronavirus. “Our citizens should avoid going abroad unless necessary, and those who do should isolate themselves at home for 14 days,” he said on March 5.
A passenger who arrived in Singapore on March 2 aboard a Turkish Airlines plane tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the plane to be sent back empty on March 4. The passenger was a French national and transited through Istanbul en route to Singapore from London. The crew tested negative for the virus in Singapore.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that although there are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Turkey so far, there might be people who have been already infected by the virus and the authorities are not aware of them.