Officials taking extra care against COVID-19: Presidential spokesperson

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Turkey‘s state officials are taking the strictest measures against the novel coronavirus, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on April 16.

“In our state departments, we have doctors all the time and pay extra attention to social distancing. We conduct most of our meetings through video calls,” Kalın told the NTV news channel.

Investments made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, especially in healthcare, city hospitals, medical equipment, healthcare professionals and all other medical and healthcare issues have prepared Turkey for this epidemic for years, he said, adding investments especially in health infrastructure for 15-16 years have prepared the country for the epidemic.

Kalın said Turkey is in an advantageous position due to being among the countries that have taken measures and responded to the crisis early.

“When you look at the whole process, we can say that we have managed the process well so far because our citizens adopted these measures. This success is the success of all of us, not just of the person or institution,” he said.

“The current global system’s fragilities are much more visible now with this (COVID-19).”

With global economies expected to shrink by 6% to 7%, he noted that the SARS virus cost the world $40 billion and the impact from COVID-19 is expected to be much higher.

“Many economists estimate that COVID-19 will cost the world $3-$4 trillion. So 2020 will be a year of complete contraction. We have to take this into consideration, but risking human lives due to this in any way is out of the question.

“There are lessons to be learned. Problems of capitalism and profit- and consumption-oriented systems have shown themselves through this crisis. Chaos and uncertainty are looming, and this should give us the opportunity to think about what really matters in our lives and what our basic needs are.”

Kalın added that the legitimacy of international organizations such as the World Health Organization, UN, G20, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and European Union will be questioned.

“If these organizations fail to create solutions for a crisis such as this, of course, there will be a question of political legitimacy.”

Turkey sees protecting its citizens as of vital importance, and that is why President Erdogan decided to provide everyone with masks for free, he said, adding the country has enough supplies and infrastructure to continue doing this.

Kalın said President Erdoğan takes into consideration all decisions of Turkey’s Science Council and all steps are taken in the country accordingly.

Hurriyet Daily News

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