A new hospital complex opened Sunday in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC) capital city Lefkoşa (Nicosia) to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the opening ceremony of Lefkoşa Emergency Hospital during his visit to the TRNC and the long-abandoned town of Varosha (Maraş) on the occasion of the country's 37th foundation anniversary.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony Erdoğan said that the new hospital is a sign of solidarity with the TRNC, adding that from the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Turkish officials "rushed to the aid of our brothers in Northern Cyprus," providing all kinds of support in the field of health.
"Without our unity with the TRNC, we would not have completed this hospital in as little as 45 days. The most important sign of solidarity with the TRNC is this emergency hospital," Erdoğan said, adding that Ankara has provided TL 149 million ($19 million) in aid to the country during the coronavirus pandemic. He went on to say that a 500-bed hospital would also soon be opened in the TRNC.
Meanwhile, Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who also attended the opening ceremony, said the new hospital will be an exceptional building block that will strengthen the health system of the TRNC.
"I believe that both health facilities will perform an important service in meeting the health needs of our Turkish Cypriot brothers," he added.
As the whole world strives to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries are experiencing a lack of beds, intensive care units, health workers and technical infrastructure, Koca underlined.
"We are going through days in which we need solidarity and mutual assistance the most. We are in a period in which the whole world is learning how vital a strong health system is for societies," he said.
Across the world, COVID-19 has claimed more than 1.3 million lives in 191 countries and regions since last December. Over 54 million cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 35 million recoveries, according to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Turkey recorded 3,223 more COVID-19 patients over the past 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 414,278, data from the Health Ministry showed Sunday.
Meanwhile, some 2,561 patients had recovered from the disease, pushing the tally to 353,663, while the death toll rose by 89 to reach 11,507. Health specialists carried out 142,500 COVID-19 tests across the country, raising the total count to over 16.1 million, the figures showed.
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