Turkey’s state-run aid agency on Sunday delivered medical supplies to Bangladesh in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
TIKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency) provided 1,000 N95 masks, 1,000 PPE suits, two ventilators and 5,000 medical masks to support Bangladesh in fighting COVID-19, the Turkish Embassy in Dhaka said in a statement.
Additionally, Foreign Secretary Khalilur Rahman received the aid, while Turkey's ambassador in Dhaka, Mustafa Osman Turan, and TIKA’s Bangladesh Coordinator Ismail Gündoğdu attended the handover ceremony in the capital city.
Bangladeshi authorities will distribute the equipment to the country's relevant health institutions in the coming days, the statement said.
Referring to the gradual deterioration of the situation in Bangladesh, it went on to say, "We are glad to be able to support Bangladesh in these difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
"Bilateral relations between our fraternal countries have undoubtedly taken a step further after today’s handover ceremony,” the statement added.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Turan said all nations should act in solidarity amid the pandemic. "Turkey is pleased to provide much-needed medical assistance to Bangladesh in line with the longstanding close ties between our countries.”
Gündoğdu said TIKA will continue to "support the people of our sister country Bangladesh so they can face the challenges of COVID-19."
Since 2014, TIKA has completed many projects in Bangladesh, he added.
In April and May, the Turkish embassy, along with the contribution of Turkish institutions present in Bangladesh, distributed 4,000 food packages to underprivileged families in Dhaka and Chittagong.
On May 13, TIKA also distributed 1,000 dry food packages in Cox’s Bazar, southern Bangladesh.
In addition, the agency distributed 5,000 food packages and 5,000 personal care packages to the Rohingya refugees in April and May during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
According to official figures, the total number of cases in the country climbed to 65,769, as 2,743 new cases were registered over the past 24 hours.
A total of 6,206 police personnel in the country have tested positive for the virus, with 17 deaths, according to police.
Meanwhile, the government has imposed a complete lockdown in 50 districts that fall under the red zone and a partial lockdown in 13 other districts as part of its new strategy to fight the coronavirus in the country.
Based on the severity of infections and death rates, the government has divided the country into three zones: red, yellow and green, according to the Health Ministry.
A Bangladeshi minister tested positive for the COVID-19, an official said on Sunday. Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, the Chittagong hill tracts affairs minister, is the first in the country's Cabinet to have tested positive for the virus. "Minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing was suffering from coronavirus like symptoms for the last nine days, and we got confirmation on Saturday night that he had contracted COVID-19," Dr. Aung Swi Prue Marma, a civil surgeon at Bandarban district, told Anadolu Agency. The minister's health condition was stable, the surgeon said, adding he was taken to the Combined Military Hospital in the capital Dhaka on Sunday.