Cases of Coronavirus in Turkey Growing at Faster Pace Than Italy: Experts

Cases of the coronavirus in Turkey are increasing at a faster rate than infections did during the same phase in Italy, according to media reports citing a noted researcher.

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The rate of increment is startling, said Professor Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) in Vienna, said on Twitter on Thursday. “The next few days will tell if Turkey is following the Western European pattern,” he said.

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The number of infections in Turkey rose by 168 to 359 on Thursday and four people have died from the illness, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a late-night statement.

Turkey has enhanced measures to control the spread of coronavirus, administering 1,981 tests on Thursday alone and placing 9,800 people in quarantine. It has cancelled all public events and urged its citizens to stay at home.

Turkey has so far focused on people who came from overseas or were in touch with foreigners who recently arrived in the country. Ankara shifted thousands of people straight from airports to 14-day quarantine facilities around the country, screening them with a homemade 75-minute diagnosis kit that detects the virus.

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The number of positive cases of coronavirus could dramatically increase with the arrival of 15-minute diagnosis kits from China and as the government steadily expands the number of labs to 36 from 16. President Erdogan unveiled a $15.4 billion plan to assist organizations from the economic vulnerability which already started to impact the jobs.