UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS BY HEALTH MINISTER
By Fahri Aksut
ANKARA (AA) – All 42 people quarantined in Turkey after evacuation from China’s Wuhan city were discharged from hospital on Friday.
Turkey’s health minister said none of the individuals — 32 Turkish nationals, six Azerbaijanis, three Georgians, and one Albanian — showed any signs of Covid-19, the disease caused by the deadly coronavirus.
“In line with recommendations of the Turkish Scientific Committee, the 42 people were placed in quarantine for 14 days and have now been discharged from hospital [today],” Fahrettin Koca told reporters in the capital Ankara.
He said multiple tests were conducted to make sure that none of them were carriers of the new coronavirus.
Foreign citizens among evacuees will return to their countries on Saturday, Koca added.
– Turkey to export diagnostic kit
Also, he said the diagnostic kit developed by Turkey to identify coronavirus cases will be sold abroad.
"A country ordered ten thousand of kits from us, and similarly four other countries demanded these kits," he said.
He highlighted that the kits are developed in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) data.
Stressing the early diagnosis and therapy for treatment, Koca said the virus is detected in three hours by the kits developed by German and French companies, while it can be detected in between 90-120 minutes by Turkey's kit.
The 42 individuals were evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, on a special military plane sent by Turkey on Feb. 1.
The medical staff, military personnel, and reporters who were part of the rescue mission were earlier released from quarantine on Feb. 11.
According to the China’s National Health Commission, the coronavirus death toll in the country has hit 1,381, with nearly 64,000 more confirmed cases.
The virus has spread to more than 20 countries but only three deaths have been reported outside mainland China, one each in Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.
The WHO already declared the outbreak a global health emergency.