Frontiers closed in Turkey due to coronavirus

Coronavirus: Turkey asks its citizens abroad to quarantine themselves

Turkish Health Minister accused European countries of not taking the necessary measures to contain the coronavirus, despite the rapid rate of spread of COVID-19.

Turkey’s Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca, accused Europe on Monday of having a too slow response to the outbreak of coronavirus, and asked Turkish citizens returning to the country from abroad to voluntarily submit to a 14-day quarantine to avoid spreading COVID-19.

During a press conference held on Monday in Ankara, Koca explained that the Turkish authorities have carried out more than 2,000 tests in suspected cases of infection, and that none has tested positive for the virus, which however has already taken several lives in Europe, where it has infected thousands of people.

The minister stressed that Turkey was forced to suspend its flights and close its borders with several countries where COVID-19 outbreaks have been detected, but that the lack of an effective response from those countries has made containment of the virus more complicated.

“The virus spreading throughout Iran has been a risk for the entire region. As it spread through Italy, Europe, unfortunately, failed to take action. They were slow and are still acting slowly,” he said.

“If Turkey had not closed its border with Iran, we would have cases throughout Turkey”

“If Turkey had not closed its borders with Iran, an average of 50,000 people would have entered Turkey every week and we would probably be with cases of viruses in several regions of our country. As far as we know, 1 in 5 of these 50,000 people could being infected,” he stressed.

Koca insisted again that there are no positive cases of the coronavirus in Turkey and asked citizens not to believe in the false news that Internet and social networks are spreading. “Everyone (to whom we have tested) has been negative for the virus. If we are going to have a case, it will be through people who will come from abroad,” said the minister, who asked Turkish citizens in Europe to “take your own precautions.”

“Although the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, European countries have not yet taken the necessary measures. I ask our citizens to take their own measures, to avoid going outside if it is not necessary, and to wear protective masks outside. Those who return from abroad to Turkey in the last 14 days, should spend their first 14 days here in Turkey quarantining,” the minister added.