The number of coronavirus cases in Turkey has risen to five, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Friday.
All the infected are closely related to each other, Koca said during a joint news conference with Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül and Transport Minister Cahit Turhan.
Koca said the government was working on launching a special coronavirus hotline, which will help citizens determine if they are infected with the virus known as COVID-19.
Turhan also announced that inbound flights from nine European countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden – will be suspended until April 17. Turkish authorities previously halted flights with China, Iran, Iraq, Italy and South Korea. Turkey will also halt passengers arriving from all those nine countries at all border crossings, from Saturday morning, Interior Ministry said in a notice shared with related-institutions late Friday.
Koca announced Turkey's second COVID-19 case hours earlier.
"He is from the immediate circle of our first patient, who was followed up as soon as the diagnosis was made," he tweeted.
"We have taken the necessary measures to keep the possible spread of the virus within these limits. We will overcome this problem together," he added.
Turkey's first case was announced earlier this week in a man who had recently returned from Europe. The patient was isolated and his family and those who came in contact with him were closely monitored.
After emerging in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to more than 110 countries.
The global death toll is now over 5,000 with nearly 140,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has declared the outbreak a pandemic.
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