Turkey’s health minister says no coronavirus detected in country: report

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No cases of coronavirus have been found so far in Turkey, the country’s health minister said on Friday, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Speaking at a news conference after a meeting on the virus, Fahrettin Koca said Turkish citizens set to come home from the Chinese city of Wuhan on a Turkish cargo plane have not been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The plane was to take off from Ankara in a few hours, Koca said.

It is due to airlift 34 Turkish citizens, seven Azerbaijanis, seven Georgians and one Albanian from Wuhan after medical checks.

The plane will carry healthcare personnel experienced in infectious diseases.

No cruise ships will dock in Turkey from Chinese ports, he said, adding that cargo ships are still permitted. All ships are undergoing strict inspections.

Using thermal cameras, Turkey scans all passengers arriving from China by air. So far, 11,000 passengers have been scanned and no cases of coronavirus have been detected, he stressed.

As of Jan. 31, a total of 9,810 coronavirus cases had been seen in 23 countries worldwide, 99 percent of them in China.

The death toll in China from the novel coronavirus outbreak has climbed to 213, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.

At an emergency meeting Thursday, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international emergency.

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