Istanbul during coronavirus pandemic

WHO cites Turkey as example of fight against coronavirus

The head of the WHO for Europe highlighted the “exemplary” compliance with the measures against the pandemic in Turkey, and defended that EU should open its borders to the Eurasian country.

Turkey is an example to be followed by all countries in the fight against the coronavirus,” said the regional director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Europe, Hans Kluge, during a joint press conference with the Turkish Health minister Fahrettin Koca to announce the opening of a WHO office in Istanbul.

“Turkey has shown strong political leadership in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Turkey has responded quickly. There were significant differences between the reaction Turkey took and that of several European countries,” said Kluge, who also defended the opening of European borders to Turkey.

“I have told the European Union that it is appropriate to open the borders with Turkey. I have never seen any European country follow WHO guidelines better than Turkey when it comes to mask use, social distance and hygiene. Such a level of discipline is exemplary,” stressed the head of the WHO for Europe.

“Turkey has doubled its daily ability to test for COVID-19. In some European countries, it has been a humanitarian catastrophe. But nothing similar has happened in Turkey,” Kluge insisted. “The Turkish people have demonstrated their true character before COVID-19, guaranteeing that no one is left behind,” he added, referring to the sending of medical aid against the virus from Turkey to dozens of countries, as well as to refugees.

“Turkey has provided medical aid against the virus to 130 countries”

“Turkey has demonstrated global solidarity by providing medical aid to more than 130 countries, and COVID-19 tests to all its citizens and refugees,” insisted Kluge, who asked that security measures to be maintained -including the use of face masks – to avoid new contagions, especially in the face of the arrival of autumn.

“Turkey has (recently) experienced an increase in cases, but now they are shrinking again. Social distance and traceability of contacts are the way to go… No one is safe until everyone is safe,” stressed the responsible for WHO. “Turkey has managed to keep the situation under control in its fight against the coronavirus, especially in June,” Kluge concluded.