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COVID-19: Turkey to start mass respirator production23 March 2020

Turkey appointed 32,000 new healthcare personnel to help curb coronavirus spread, says health minister

Large-scale production of Turkish hospital respirators is one of the nation’s next steps against coronavirus, Turkey’s health minister announced Monday.

“We’re starting the mass production of domestic [respirator] devices,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters in the capital Ankara, after an hours-long meeting of a committee tackling the outbreak.

Other steps in Turkey’s all-out efforts include the appointment of 32,000 new healthcare personnel, he said.

He added that Turkey has imported a promising medicine from China to provide quicker help to COVID-19 patients.

“In the coming days we will be announcing the number of recovering cases every day. I want to note that we have a large number of people who have recovered,” Koca stressed.

Though the virus has claimed over 15,000 deaths worldwide, most people who contract it face mild symptoms before making a recovery.

He added that among people testing positive for the virus are some healthcare personnel.

In recent days Turkey has stepped up its measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic by banning public gatherings, closing schools and restaurants, and encouraging people to self-isolate.

So far, 30 people have died of the virus in Turkey, with 1,236 cases confirmed.

The virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to at least 168 countries and regions around the globe, while the tally of confirmed cases exceeds 360,600 and the death toll is over 15,000, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

China, Italy, Iran, and Spain continue to be the countries hardest hit.

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