Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Tuesday denied claims that an airplane from Tehran was redirected from İstanbul to Ankara over a suspected case of coronavirus on board, stressing that the plane carried Turkish citizens who were evacuated from the neighboring country hit by the epidemic, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.
The minister underlined that all transportation from Iran was halted as of Feb. 23, adding that a special flight was organized for the evacuation of Turkish citizens who wanted to return home.
“The citizens returning to our country on this flight will be under observation for 14 days,” Koca said.
The 132 passengers and crew will reportedly be held at a specially designed quarantine hospital in Ankara.
Earlier reports claimed that a Turkish Airlines (THY) flight from Tehran to İstanbul was rerouted to Ankara after a passenger showed signs of coronavirus.
Turkey announced the closure of its border with Iran after the revelation of an increasing number of coronavirus infections and deaths in its neighbor.