World • 17 March, 2020

Turkey confirms 29 new cases of coronavirus

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New cases brings total number in Turkey to 47, says health minister, Anadolu Agency says.

Turkey announced new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus late Monday as it continued efforts to curb its spread.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 29 more people have been diagnosed with the virus, bringing the total number in Turkey to 47.

He said the new cases come from contacts abroad; the U.S., Middle East, Europe and three were from returning pilgrims from an Umrah visit in Saudi Arabia.

Umrah is the Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca that Muslims can undertake at any time of the year.

"Overseas contact will continue to be a risk," Koca noted, adding the importance of applying measures strictly.

He noted the importance of determining cases not at risk to the public and urged zeroing in on the possibilities of contact with the virus.

"Every new diagnose is sad but it is assurance for you. In outbreaks, things get out of control with panic. Measure and panic are opposite each other. Let's keep the measures tight," he added.

The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 146 countries and territories. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Out of 173,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 6,600, while more than 77,500 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.

The current number of active cases is more than 88,500 -- 93% mild and 7% are in critical condition.

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