First death due to the coronavirus disease has been confirmed in Turkey on late Tuesday and the country also witnessed a double hike in the confirmed cases, taking the toll to 98 from 47 which was recorded a day earlier.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca in a press conference in capital Ankara said that an 89-year old died after contracting the virus from someone who had contact with China, the epicentre of the global outbreak. Turkey has diagnosed 51 more cases on Tuesday, he added.
There were 47 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country by early March 17. On March 11, Turkey became the last major economy to report an outbreak of coronavirus. Since then, the government has imposed measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus, including the closure of places where people gather.
On March 16, the Interior Ministry decided to shut down bars and nightclubs to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Koca, meanwhile, reported on his Twitter handle 12 more coronavirus cases, including seven people who had returned from European countries and three from the United States. The update raised Turkey’s confirmed cases to 18.
Turkey has stepped up measures to contain the spread of the virus, including suspending flights to several countries and closing schools and universities. On Sunday, Turkey set up medical examination locations for more than 10,300 people returning from pilgrimages to Islam’s holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
The Peace Corps is reportedly evacuating all of its volunteers and suspending operations in dozens of countries. Director Jody Olsen says Sunday’s decision comes as “international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day.” She said the agency wanted to avoid leaving volunteers stranded in host countries.