The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it sent millions of masks, gloves, goggles and other items worth $ 1.7 million to protect healthcare professionals and other frontline workers in Turkey from COVID-19, the Gazete Duvar English service reported.
In a statement the WHO said the equipment was sent thanks to funding provided by the German government through KfW Development Bank.
“Through this funding, WHO has also assisted the Ministry of Health to track the spread of COVID-19 in Istanbul, one of the cities hit hardest by the pandemic,” it said.
Turkey announced its first COVID-19 case on March 11, the day the WHO characterized the outbreak as a pandemic and urged countries to ramp up their measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Two WHO partners, the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM) and Doctors Worldwide (DWW), helped distribute the protective items across the country.
ASAM helped distribute more than 2.8 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), including 1.4 million pairs of disposable gloves, 1.3 million surgical masks, 25,000 hair caps, 16,900 respirator masks, 16,000 disposable coats, 8,800 pairs of protective goggles, 8,900 protective coveralls and 4,600 face shields.
Turkey in the meantime has conducted soft-power diplomacy by providing PPE to dozens of countries, including the United States, Italy and Spain, which were hard hit by the virus.