Turkey's help to Italy against coronavirus

Turkey to send a plane to Spain with medical aid against the coronavirus

A plane loaded with essential medical supplies in the fight against the coronavirus will arrive in Madrid on Wednesday. The Turkish President has donated 7 months of his salary for people without income.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Monday that Turkey will send an aircraft loaded with medical supplies and materials on April 1st to Spain, the second country in Europe most affected by the coronavirus pandemic after Italy, where the Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) has already sent a shipment of medical aid.

In remarks made after a meeting of his cabinet, the Turkish president confirmed that the plane loaded with basic medical supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic will land on Wednesday in Madrid.

“There are also other countries to which we have sent our Turkish-made medical supplies. We have also sent a ship loaded with medical aid through the Turkish Red Crescent to Italy, which is going through difficult times,” said Erdoğan. “The stronger Turkey becomes, the further it can extend its helping hand to its allies,” he added.

The Italian Red Cross itself confirmed the delivery of supplies from Turkey in a tweet published on its official Twitter account, in which several images appeared along with a thank you note for Turkey. “Medical supplies sent by the Turkish Red Crescent have arrived in Rome. Thank you, Sister Turkey!” read the message.

According to the latest data, 101,739 cases of coronavirus have been detected so far in Italy, where the death toll reached 11,591 deaths on Monday; for its part, Spain is already the third country with the highest number of infections in the world, with 87,956 cases, and has already registered 7,716 deaths, which represents 21% of the deceased worldwide.

Turkish President donates 7 months of his salary to the most disadvantaged

The Turkish President also announced the launch of a national fundraising campaign to help Turkish citizens who have been most affected by the crisis and the economic slowdown caused by this pandemic, and for which Erdoğan himself announced that he will donate 7 months of his salary, adding that several ministers have already joined the initiative.

“Our goal is to help those in financial difficulties, especially daily salary workers, because of the containment measures taken against the outbreak,” said Erdoğan, who asked deputies, mayors and officials to join the campaign. He also appealed to citizens who are used to making donations to those most in need during Ramadan – which begins in a month – to do it now.

On the COVID-19 pandemic, the Turkish president again insisted that Turkey is one of the countries that is best prepared to fight the outbreak, and announced the completion of a new hospital with a capacity of 600 beds built in the Okmeydanı district in Istanbul.

He also assured that Turkey has sufficient capacity to manufacture its own medical supplies and medicines to fight the coronavirus: “So far we have distributed more than 24 million surgical masks, 3 million N-95 masks, one million gowns, and 181,000 protective glasses. We also have the means to increase the rate of production of these materials, “he stressed.

Almost 11,000 cases of COVID-19 in Turkey

On Monday night, the Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca again updated the data on COVID-19 in the country, indicating that the number of detected cases now stands at 10,827, while the number of deaths is 168. There are also 725 critically ill patients admitted to intensive care units across the country because of the virus.

One of the new fronts opened by the Turkish health authorities in the fight against the coronavirus are the towns and villages: dozens of them have been placed under quarantine since last week in at least 18 of the country’s 81 provinces, although for now the Turkish government has declined to reveal its location to prevent panic from causing many citizens to flee the affected areas, further spreading the virus.