No signs of virus found in passengers from Iran, minister says

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Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed on Feb. 25 that there are no signs of the deadly novel coronavirus in passengers who arrived from Iran.

Some 132 Turkish citizens arrived in the capital Ankara on Feb. 24 after they were evacuated from Iran, where 15 deaths from the coronavirus have been confirmed.

Koca stressed that the decision to quarantine them was taken in line with recommendations from the Health Ministry’s scientific committee in terms of not taking risks because four of the passengers had cold symptoms and others had visited the city of Qom, the epicenter of the virus in Iran.

“With 132 passengers and 10 crew members, I want to say that we do not have any passengers with a fever above 38 degrees,” he told reporters.

“In general, I would like to point out that they are in good condition and that there are no respiratory or similar problems in this sense.”

Koca stated that tests for the detection of 24 different viruses have been conducted on the passengers with cold symptoms and that they have been followed up on.

He said samples from two-thirds of the passengers were taken and the rest were being monitored.

Turkey will send cargo planes loaded with aid to China in the coming days and diagnostic kits to Iran on Wednesday to meet the country’s demand.

Iran has reported 95 confirmed cases so far.

The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has sounded global alarms, with China reporting 2,663 deaths from the outbreak and health experts grappling to find a cure.

Outside mainland China, the coronavirus has spread to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

Hurriyet Daily News

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