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Turkey still coronavirus-free, health minister says: report

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No coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Turkey so far, the health minister said on Monday, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Addressing reporters in Ankara after a meeting of the science council on the coronavirus, Fahrettin Koca said the Health Ministry and the Turkish government had taken all measures necessary to prevent the novel virus from entering Turkey.

Amid the rapid spread of the disease in European countries, Koca advised Turkish citizens living in Europe to take personal precautions.

“Turks living abroad, especially those living in Europe, should not go out unless necessary,” said Koca.

Koca also urged citizens, especially those coming from abroad, to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.

“If the coronavirus reaches Turkey, it will most probably be carried by passengers traveling from abroad. It is possible to see cases in Turkey, but it is in our hands to prevent the spread of the virus,” he said.

With Turkey well-equipped against the coronavirus, Koca said it is not seeking help from other countries but that it can lend them a helping hand.

The disease has spread to over 90 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The global death toll is now over 3,800 and almost 110,000 cases have been confirmed, with the majority in China.

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, some governments closed borders and suspended land and air travel with many countries including China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

The WHO had declared the outbreak an international health emergency and later updated the global risk assessment to very high.

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