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Turkey helps 57 countries fight Covid-19

22nd May 2020
Turkey helps 57 countries fight Covid-19

Turkey’s medical aid packages being unloaded from a military plane, carrying the second batch of supplies, following its arrival Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, DC, US on May 1.(Credit: Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency/ Illustration courtesy of Anadolu Agency)

Nadine Osman

Turkey has helped 57 countries to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, including the worst-hit nations Italy, Spain, UK and the US.

Originating in China last December, Covid-19 has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

Despite fighting the virus domestically with lockdowns, quarantines and social isolation, Turkey continues to supply medical aid to many countries.
Speaking on April 15, the World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe said that Turkey’s solidarity with World Health Organization was helping in the fight against the pandemic.

In a video press conference, Dr Hans Kluge spoke about Turkey’s help to the UK, the Balkans and countries including Italy and Spain with medical supplies.

Kluge said he spoke with Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. “We talked especially about Covid-19. We also signed a new two-year agreement. On behalf of WHO, I expressed my gratitude to the Turkish Government for its solidarity,” he said.Kluge underlined that aid to one country would be beneficial to “the whole region and beyond.”

Due to Covid-19 being a new disease, the solidarity from Turkey “serves us all,” he added.

EU Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor thanked Turkey for its solidarity in combating Covid-19. “Thank you Turkey’s Government and Turkish people for your empathic delivery of health material to Spain. We will never forget your solidarity,” said Amor.

On April 1, Turkey sent a plane carrying medical supplies including masks, hazmat suits and disinfectants to Italy, which has reported one of the highest number of deaths in Europe.

“Today’s help is very important to us. We thank President Erdoğan, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and all Turkish people for their solidarity,” said Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya also thanked Turkey for providing medical aid.

The US thanked Turkey for the medical aid it sent to combat the virus, which has already claimed over 80,000 lives.“We had a phone call today (April 30) with the US Health and Human Services Secretary Mr Alex Azar. He thanked us for the help of medical supplies sent to the US on the instructions of our President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan],” said Koca.

Koca said he explained in detail to his US colleague the treatment methods Turkey had developed as part of measures taken against the pandemic in the country.

A Turkish military cargo plane carrying the second batch of medical supplies departed for the US on April 30. The first shipment of medical supplies, which included masks, face visors, half a million surgical masks N95 masks and 40,000 gowns, was sent on April 28.

Among the many African nations assisted by Turkey is Ethiopia. Turkey distributed food items to internally displaced people in the country.

The food ration packets included flour, rice, oil, and dates. Mehmet Ali Yetis, the Ethiopia representative of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency, said the donation will help them during Ramadan and through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Turkish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Yaprak Alp, was also present at the distribution ceremony held in Addis Ababa. Medical aid from Turkey came at a time when the Government needed it the most, said Palestinian Authority’s Deputy Foreign Mnister.

“This help meets the needs of Palestine in a critical period when the Palestinian budget is inadequate and the economy is negatively affected by the Coronavirus outbreak,” said Ahmad Ed-dijk. A medical cargo plane sent to Palestine landed on April 30 at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

As of May 18, Palestine recorded 386 Covid-19 cases, including in the occupied territories, with two deaths, according to officials.

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