Turkey, plane with aid against coronavirus

Turkey sends aid against COVID-19 to 5 Balkan countries

The aid, which includes thousands of face masks and tests to detect the coronavirus, left early on Wednesday from Ankara for Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo.

A military plane left Turkey on Wednesday, transporting medical supplies to 5 countries in the Balkans, to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic that has already infected more than 1.5 million people worldwide and has been so far claimed the lives of more than 85,000 people.

The A-400M plane belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces took off early on Wednesday from the Turkish capital Ankara, bound for the Serbian capital Belgrade, where it had planned its first stop; from there its flight plan included stopovers in Sarajevo (Bosnia), Montenegro, Skopje (North Macedonia) and Pristina (Kosovo). Previously, the Turkish government had also sent aid to neighbouring Albania.

As in the shipment of medical material against the coronavirus that left for Spain and Italy a week ago, the two countries most affected by the pandemic in Europe, the material for each country included a quote (written in Turkish and in the respective language of the country) of the Sufi mystic Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi – one of the most revered figures of Islam in Turkey – saying: “There is so much hope after despair … There are so many suns after darkness…“.

Masks, general equipment and detection tests (for the virus) prepared by the Turkish Ministry of Health will be delivered to Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo following instructions from our President Erdoğan,” the Ministry of Defence reported in a message posted on its official Twitter account before the plane left.

Since it appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, the coronavirus has spread worldwide, infecting 1.5 million people and creating the worst global crisis since World War II. According to the latest data, in Turkey the number of infected amounts to 38,226, while 812 people have died in the country as a result of COVID-19 disease, and 1,846 have been discharged.