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Turkey keeps evacuating citizens still abroad amid COVID-19 outbreak

Turkey keeps evacuating citizens still abroad amid COVID-19 outbreak

Turkey is preparing to evacuate 1,200 Turkish nationals from Algeria, Turkish Foreign Ministry said as the country has already evacuated more than 20,000 of its citizens from 50 countries since the coronavirus started to spread across the world.

According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the evacuation process started Thursday and will be completed by the end of this week. Around 1,700 Algerian citizens in Turkey will also be transferred to their country simultaneously.

As a part of the evacuation process, three airplanes belonging to an Algerian airline will carry 555 Turkish citizens to Samsun province, on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, and it will take Algerian citizens in Karabük back home.

Turkish citizens coming from Algeria will be quarantined for 14 days in Samsun, Amasya and Tokat provinces while the rest of them will continue to be evacuated through the weekend.

The evacuations are being carried out under the coordination of Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay. The foreign, interior, health and transport and infrastructure ministries have been in cooperation for the evacuation.

Turkey has suspended all of Turkish Airlines’ international flights for an indefinite period as of March 27th including those to New York and many European destinations.

Turkey first started to evacuate its citizens from China’s coronavirus-hit Wuhan city on Jan. 29, followed by Iran in February.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 181 countries and regions.

Data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University shows worldwide infections surging past 1 million, with more than 54,000 deaths. Over 217,000 people have recovered.