507 Turkish expatriates have died of COVID-19, foreign minister says

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Tuesday said 507 Turkish citizens living abroad had died due to the novel coronavirus, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The bodies of more than 400 Turkish expatriates have already been returned to Turkey, Çavuşoğlu told local broadcaster Akit TV.

He also said in excess of 65,000 Turks from 110 countries have been flown home since the outbreak of the virus.

Highlighting expatriates’ difficulty in getting home due to strict quarantine measures, especially from some counties in Africa and Latin America, Çavuşoğlu said: “We’re taking care of those we can’t bring back one by one. We have sent additional funds to our foreign missions.”

Çavuşoğlu said around 500 Turkish citizens in several countries were undergoing coronavirus treatment and that Turkey’s missions in those countries were in contact with them.

Turkey currently has 139,771 confirmed cases, and the death toll stands at 3,841.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

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