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Erdoğan announces $15 bln in support to counter economic impact of coronavirus

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday unveiled his government’s plans to mitigate the financial impact of shutdowns caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, announcing TL 100 billion ($15 billion) in support, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.

“With a package we call the ‘Economic Stability Shield,’ we are activating funds in the amount of TL 100 billion in order to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Erdoğan said at a press briefing following a high-level coordination meeting with government officials.

On Monday the Turkish Interior Ministry ordered the immediate closure of a large variety of public places, including all kinds of cafés, coffeehouses, restaurants with live music, theaters, concert halls and exhibitions centers, as part of efforts the prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“It is obvious that nothing will remain the way it was. We are entering a new era likely to witness fundamental changes in the global economic, political and social order,” he said, adding, “It is imperative for Turkey to make sure it gets out of this situation in an advantageous position.”

He also said the number of labs in Turkey with COVID-19 testing capabilities will be increased from four to 16.

Late on Tuesday Turkey announced the first death in the country related to the coronavirus. The number of officially confirmed cases has reached 98.

First seen in the Chinese city of Wuhan, COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, has spread rapidly around the world, infecting more than 200,000 people worldwide and killing nearly 8,500.

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