Turkey’s health minister says new coronavirus will wane in summer

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“Let us put up a resistance for two months. The virus will lose its effectiveness in summer,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted on Thursday, referring to the global novel coronavirus outbreak.

Turkey confirmed its first COVID-19 case a few days ago and assembled a scientific advisory board of experts to assist the health ministry.

“Our scientific advisory board agrees,” Koca added. “This disease is a winter infection. If we act cautiously, prevent its spread, life will most likely return to normal in two months.”

Meanwhile, Professor Tevfik Özlü, a member of the board, said on Thursday that they intended to devise more tests for detecting COVID-19.

“Previously, we were conducting tests for individuals who recently traveled to countries with a high risk [of novel coronavirus],” he said, adding that from now on they would begin to test almost every individual who displays symptoms and has traveled abroad to any country.

Turkey’s Education Ministry on Thursday canceled all extracurricular activities as a precaution, but closing the schools is not yet on the agenda.

The country’s football authority has announced that a derby between İstanbul’s Galatasaray and Beşiktaş will be played with spectators, a decision that drew some criticism on social media.

Many European countries have either canceled sports events or will allow games to be played without spectators.

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