Turkish authorities put 16 under quarantine on suspicion of coronavirus

A total of 16 people including Iranian truck drivers have been hospitalized on suspicion they might have the coronavirus in Turkey’s two northern provinces of Zonguldak and Kastamonu.

Zonguldak Governor Erdogan Bektas told reporters some precautionary measure was taken when an Iranian truck driver went to a hospital complaining of high fever.

The governor said 14 people were put under quarantine at the Zonguldak Ataturk Hospital, adding that necessary analysis and tests were being carried out.

“The number [of the people under quarantine] has risen [to 14] a little bit. But we are just carrying out routine procedures [putting also those whom the Iranians contacted under quarantine]. We are waiting for the test analysis,” said the governor.

In a statement published on its official website, the Kastamonu governorship’s office said two students had been placed under quarantine over fears of contracting the coronavirus when they approached the Kastamonu State Hospital with nausea, vomit and fever symptoms. The office added that they were waiting for the test results.

The students had recently traveled to the city from Turkey’s eastern province of Van, bordering Iran where 26 people have died so far from coronavirus.

The Iranian death figures from coronavirus are the second highest after China from where the epidemic originated.

Speaking in a live televised interview on Wednesday, Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said nobody had been diagnosed with the virus in the country so far and all measures had been taken against the outbreak.

On Thursday, the minister visited one of the field hospitals set up at the Gurbulak Border Gate, saying 60 people arriving at the gate from Iran have been held under medical supervision, with three of them having been transferred to hospitals.

All the people would be under quarantine in the hospital for 14 days — the incubation period of the virus – the minister added.

Last week, in an attempt to contain the virus, Turkish authorities sealed its land border with neighboring Iran and suspended all flights to and from there.

In a press release on Thursday, Ilker Ayci, the CEO of the Turkish Airlines (THY) said they had canceled the flights to Nakhchivan, an autonomous republic neighboring Iran.

The new virus is believed to have originated from illegal wildlife sold in China’s Wuhan province in December, infecting more than 80,000 people and killing more than 2,700 so far.

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