Turkey received the first batch of rapid novel coronavirus tests that can identify the COVID-19 disease in 15 minutes.
The plane carrying the test kits arrived from China at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport early Monday. The equipment was brought by Turkish Cargo, a subsidiary of Turkey's flag-carrier Turkish Airlines (THY).
Officials who picked up the cargo then transported it to Bakırköy Dr. Sadi Konuk Research and Training Hospital.
The Health Ministry said the tests will be distributed to all 81 Turkish provinces.
The rest of the 2 million kits ordered by Turkey will arrive in the country in the upcoming weeks.
Heeding the World Health Organization's call for widespread testing, Turkey has conducted more than 20,000 tests for COVID-19 as of Sunday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
Turkey on Sunday confirmed nine more deaths from COVID-19, bringing its total number of fatalities to 30. Meanwhile, the number of cases rose to 1,256.
Speaking in the Parliament on Thursday, Koca said Turkey hopes to raise the number of daily tests to between 10,000 and 15,000.
The highly contagious COVID-19, which originated in central China in late 2019, has infected nearly 340,000 people worldwide, killing more than 14,000. Some 99,000 have recovered so far.
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