Health minister asks citizens to cancel or postpone international travel plans
Turkish citizens should avoid international travel unless absolutely necessary, the health minister said Wednesday after Turkey confirmed its first case of coronavirus.
“Our citizens who were planning to go abroad should either cancel their travel plans or postpone it. The risk is serious,” Fahrettin Koca said at a news conference following a scientific committee meeting in capital Ankara.
The global outbreak has pushed Turkey to take necessary precautions, Koca told the conference along with Turkish trade and culture and tourism ministers.
He went on to say that the country’s health facilities were fully prepared to deal with the outbreak.
“We have medicines in our stocks. We ordered some medications three weeks ago. This was our preparation period. No problem with preparations,” he said.
On the suspension of schools, he said, the issue was not on the agenda but could be considered if the need arises.
Domestic trade fairs postpone
Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan announced postponing domestic trade fairs from March 16 until the end of April.
“As the Ministry of Trade, we have been carrying out our works in coordination with the Health and Interior Ministries, and in line with the decisions made by the scientific committee,” Pekcan said.
She noted that the public health is the priority and that the Trade Ministry is taking measures to preserve the continuity of trade.
Cultural activities, events might be postponed
Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy talked about ministerial measures to prevent the spread of the outbreak.
He said suspending cultural activities and events until the end of April are on the agenda.
Ersoy recommended hotels in the country to plan the opening of the summer season this year from the end of April instead of the end of March.
Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to at least 114 countries.
The global death toll is now almost 4,300, with more than 118,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has declared the outbreak “a global pandemic.”