Turkish minister of Health explains coronavirus

Turkey confirms its first case of coronavirus

Zero patient is a Turkish citizen who had traveled to Europe, and was detected and isolated upon arrival in Turkey. The Turkish government asks those who return to the country to quarantine for 14 days.

Turkey confirmed late Tuesday, March 10 that it had detected its first case of coronavirus in the country, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced in a big press conference, confirming that the infected patient had been identified and isolated .

The so-called “zero patient” of Turkey is a Turkish citizen who contracted the virus during a trip to Europe, and who had been detected upon his return and placed under quarantine in a hospital, while his family members are also under observation, according to the minister.

Koca asked citizens to avoid trips abroad, and asked those Turks who return to the country to voluntarily submit to a quarantine of 14 days; However, he called for calm and asked the population not to be alarmed by the detection of the first case in the country, stressing that what happened was predictable and that Turkey still has no outbreak of the disease.

Turkey studies closing schools and prohibiting officials from traveling abroad

“The coronavirus is not strong enough to go through the measures taken by Turkey,” said the minister, who asked citizens to take precautions against the spread of the virus throughout this month. Only a few hours earlier, Koca had announced a meeting with the Minister of Education to address a possible closure of schools, and it is even considering to prohibit public officials from travelling abroad unless it´s absolutely necessary.

On Tuesday, Koca had denied on Twitter the information that appeared in some media that claimed that an 86-year-old woman from Maryland (United States) who had tested positive for COVID-19 had contracted the virus in Turkey. According to the minister, the woman did not enter Turkey but only spent a brief period of time on March 3th in the transit area of ​​the Istanbul airport to catch a flight to Washington.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, with close political and economic ties with Turkey, had also confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which after spreading from China has infected about 119,000 people in more than 100 countries and caused about 4,300 deaths worldwide. On Monday, WHO warned that “the threat of a pandemic has become very real.”