CHANGES HEADLINE, UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS
By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur and Havva Kara Aydin
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey will establish two more hospitals with a capacity of 1,000 beds each in Istanbul for amid the novel coronavirus pandemic across the globe, the country's president said Monday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said following a virtual cabinet meeting that each of the hospitals would be on either side of the province divided by the Bosphorus Strait with one side in Europe and the other in Asia.
"We will complete them quickly within 45 days and open them to the service of our people," he added.
He added that Turkish health care system surpassed the "important threshold" of 20,000 daily coronavirus tests.
"We don't have any issues on diagnosis and treatment in our hospitals. Thankfully, we've so far not encountered any significant issues in terms of health services, food and sanitation supplies and public safety," he added.
Referring to a recent decision to distribute medical masks to people between the ages of 20 and 65 free-of-charge, Erdogan said local officials had begun distribution efforts, adding that the sale of masks is prohibited in the country.
"We have enough mask stock and production plans for all of our citizens until the outbreak ends. As the state, we are determined to provide free masks to all our citizens," he added.
He informed that 1.5 billion liras (over $221M) have been raised by Turkish citizens and companies after a National Solidarity Campaign was launched last week.
"We started preparations to deliver aid to 2.3 million households," he went on to say.