UPDATES WITH SEIZURE IN IZMIR; CHANCES HEAD, LEDE
By Huseyin Bagis and Safak Yel
ISTANBUL/IZMIR, Turkey (AA) - Turkish security forces on Tuesday seized over 120,000 illegally produced medical masks, sources said.
Acting on a tip, police carried out raids in two workplaces in Istnabul’s Kucukcekmece and Bahcelievler districts and seized 29,400 masks, an official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The production facilities were sealed off, the official added.
Separately, police in the Aegean Izmir province seized 92,000 illegally produced masks.
Demand for face masks has risen globally amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 40,000 people worldwide.
Masks can protect people and prevent sick people from spreading diseases to others, but healthcare professionals worldwide – who need the masks the most – have complained of shortages.
After emerging in China last December, the virus has infected more than 803,000 people in 178 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.
In Turkey, more than 10,000 people have tested positive, while 168 people have died.
* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur in Ankara