Turkey has temporarily suspended imports of all animals, animal products and byproducts from China as new measures to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters Friday.
The announcement came amid reports that pangolin may be the link that facilitated the spread of the pandemic across the country. Coronavirus is suspected to have been passed from an animal to a human at a market in Wuhan, China late last year.
Koca also said all Chinese nationals coming to Turkey for employment would be put on leave for 14 days, the period of standard quarantine procedure for suspected coronavirus cases.
He added that the Health Ministry had sent a letter to the Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Turkey on the issue. Those affected would be screened for 14 days and would be required to receive a permit from the Health Ministry to return to work, he said.
As for the 61 people, including 42 who were evacuated from Wuhan, as well as the Turkish crew members accompanying them in the evacuation operation, Koca said that a second round of tests found none were infected with the virus. Since their evacuation last Saturday, the evacuees have been in quarantine at a hospital in the capital Ankara.
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