By Omer Faruk Cebeci
SAKARYA, Turkey (AA) – A total of 631 people have been released from quarantine after spending two weeks in student dormitories in western Turkey, according to officials.
Students, drivers, and workers were among the group released after their test results for coronavirus came negative. They came to Turkey on March 23 and had been staying at three dormitories in Sakarya, a province on the Black Sea, some 157 kilometers (98 miles) east of Istanbul.
Huseyin Kaskas, a provincial manager for Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), said that 1,885 Turkish citizens had been brought to Sakarya since March 23.
The people released from quarantine are being sent to their homes throughout Turkey free of charge, Kaskas said.
“We will be sending home 658 people tomorrow, and 211 more on April 8, and 269 on April 9,” he added.
Isilay Turkeli, a student Turkey brought home from Dublin, expressed gratitude to the employees who worked during the quarantine to supply them with food, books, as well as sports equipment.
Another student from Dublin, Mine Tokel, said she was thankful to have been evacuated from Ireland, adding, “Otherwise it would have been very difficult for us”.
“I’m going to stay with my family and do another 14-day quarantine,” she added.
As of Sunday, Turkey has reported more than 27,000 COVID-19 cases, and the death toll stands at 574.
Since appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 183 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.
More than 1.27 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the global death toll nearing 70,000, and over 264,000 recoveries.