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Tuesday 10 March 2020

Turkey Confirms First COVID-19 Case

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ANKARA (Reuters) — Turkey confirmed its first case of the coronavirus on Wednesday, becoming the last major economy to report an outbreak.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed early on Wednesday that a Turkish man with a high fever and cough had been diagnosed as having the virus and had been isolated.

As a basic rule, one should be cautious of countries that claim to be immune to the epidemic, as was the case with Turkey and remains the case with the Central Asian countries. The perception of safety is more a sign of negligence in detection than the claimed high level of sanitary measures. The epidemic has its natural laws and a country like Turkey, with strong ties to Iran, cannot escape the rule.

Turkey’s tourism sector, which accounts for about 13% of its economy, stepped up calls on the government for financial help to deal with the expected negative impact of the outbreak. Turkish Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy and tourism officials met in Ankara just before the first case was announced to discuss possible repercussions. The Tourism Evaluation Council said it suggested financial support for tour operators and airlines, reductions in utilities costs, and measures to increase bookings. The sector is “starting to be negatively impacted”, it added.

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