Hospital confirms former Turkish Land Forces commander died of coronavirus

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Aytaç Yalman

An İstanbul hospital has belatedly confirmed that retired Gen. Aytaç Yalman, former commander of the Turkish Land Forces who died at the age of 80 on Tuesday, passed away due to the coronavirus, bringing Turkey’s death toll to three, the T24 news website reported.

The chief physician of the hospital where he was treated also announced that Yalman’s wife is undergoing treatment for COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus.

The general’s death was not recorded as coronavirus related as he had tested negative for the virus immediately before his demise.

Columnist Saygı Öztürk from the Sözcü newspaper claimed in a TV interview on Thursday that Yalman’s cause of death was COVID-19. The hospital later released a statement confirming the assertion.

Addressing the parliament, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also confirmed it as the third such death in the country.

First seen in the Chinese city of Wuhan, COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world, infecting more than 225,000 people worldwide and killing nearly 9,500.

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