A Turkish plane carrying medical supplies departed from the capital Ankara for Afghanistan on Thursday in order to assist in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
"A Turkish Armed Forces aircraft carrying medical supplies for use in combating the COVID-19 outbreak has taken off from Ankara's Etimesgut air base for Afghanistan upon the orders of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan," the National Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
Ten ventilators, 10 defibrillators, 10 oxygen regulators, three PCR machines, 10 nebulizers, 30,000 COVID-19 RT-q PCR diagnostic test kits, 25,000 N95 face masks and 50,000 surgical and general face masks were loaded onto the aircraft – each in aid boxes carrying a message for the people of Afghanistan.
The crates are printed with the words, "There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness,” quoting a verse by 13th-century Sufi poet Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi.
Turkey, as a country that has made a name for itself in humanitarian work over the last decade, has been a leading force in contributing to international efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Turkey has provided at least 125 countries with humanitarian aid over the course of the outbreak, including the U.S., U.K., Italy and Spain, making it the world's third-largest provider of aid during the pandemic.
Worldwide, the pandemic has killed more than 416,200 people, with total infections of over 7.36 million. Meanwhile, some 3.45 million people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.