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[UPDATE] Health minister says coronavirus cases in Turkey now number 5: report

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The Turkish health minister announced on Friday that the number of cases in Turkey of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, had reached five, according to the Turkish media.

“The person is someone who’s close to our first patient who was followed up on as soon as the initial diagnosis was made,” Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter confirming the second case, although he later announced three more diagnoses of COVID-19.

The three new patients are from the same extended family as the first two, he added.

“We have taken the necessary measures to minimize the spread of the virus. We will overcome this problem together,” he added.

Turkey’s first case was announced earlier this week, a man who had recently returned from Europe. The patient was completely isolated, along with monitoring of his family and those who came into contact with him.

After emerging in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 114 countries.

The global death toll is now over 4,600, with more than 125,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

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