By Fahri Aksut and Ali Murat Alhas
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's greatest advantages in fighting the coronavirus outbreak are its strong healthcare infrastructure and its early start, said the nation’s president on Wednesday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the public to stay at home until further notice and maintain social distancing in a bid to stem the virus’ spread.
Speaking by video to district heads of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, he said the goal is to ensure that Turkey leaves this troubling period behind with minimal losses, adding that state institutions are working hard.
On the pandemic’s financial fallout, he said: "We are determined to ensure continued production and exports."
"God willing, we will overcome this plague by paying attention to cleaning, vacating the streets, and not leaving our houses if not necessary," he said.
“We will survive this period,” Erdogan asserted.
So far, the virus has claimed 214 lives in Turkey, and registered cases have climbed to more than 13,000.
After originating in Wuhan last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 180 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe.
The virus has killed more than 43,000 people and infected over 874,000 globally, while some 185,000 people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.