A municipal worker squirts hand sanitizer into the hand of a pedestrian in Istanbul on May 14. | Bloomberg
A municipal worker squirts hand sanitizer into the hand of a pedestrian in Istanbul on May 14. | Bloomberg
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Ankara: Turkey declared “mission accomplished” against its coronavirus outbreak, saying investments in the country’s health system, a science-led approach to managing the disease and free treatment meant “the pandemic has been contained,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director said on Wednesday.

“Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan invested billions in healthcare infrastructure, let top scientists devise a strategy and treated all COVID-19 patients for free,” Fahrettin Altun, the president’s communications director, said in a Twitter post. “The result? Our recovery rate is almost 75 percent. The pandemic has been contained. #MissionAccomplished.”

Erdogan, who has been governing Turkey for almost two decades, has long prioritized investments in the country’s once-dilapidated health system, dramatically easing access to free health services. Turkey imposed only partial lockdowns, but has a high capacity of intensive care units, especially in big cities. Treatment protocols have included starting anti-viral drugs as soon as patients are diagnosed with Covid-19 and removing, oxygenating and then reintroducing a patient’s blood.

​The country has 152,587 confirmed coronavirus cases, ninth highest in the world as of Wednesday. Of those, 4,222 people have died. Turkey is the world’s 17th-largest country by population.

The reproduction factor of the virus, known as R-naught, stood at 0.72 as of Wednesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday. That compares with 1.56 on May 13, the last time Koca announced the figure. The total number of tests Turkey has performed reached 1.7 million, he said. – Bloomberg

Also read: India joins rest of the world to find out origin of coronavirus, China isn’t pleased


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