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Turkey sends medical aid to Balkan countries amid virus outbreak

Turkey sends medical aid to Balkan countries amid virus outbreak

A Turkish military plane carrying medical supplies departed from the capital Ankara for North Macedonia and Albania on Tuesday to support the countries’ battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Turkish Armed Forces aircraft, carrying the medical supplies prepared at the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) for use against the COVID-19 outbreak, took off from Ankara Etimesgut Airbase for Republic of North Macedonia and Albania,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last week said some two-thirds of the nations of the world requested medical supplies from Turkey to fight coronavirus, and nearly half of these requests were met.

The countries included the worst-hit ones such as the US, Italy, Spain, and the UK, while Turkey remains the world’s third-largest provider of humanitarian aid during the pandemic.

North Macedonia has reported 1,664 cases and 91 deaths so far, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University in the US. In Albania, there are 872 cases of virus, with 31 deaths.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit areas.

The pandemic has killed more than 286,300 people worldwide with over 4.17 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 1.45 million.