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WHO sign agreement to open office in Istanbul

11 July 2020
WHO sign agreement to open office in Istanbul

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Turkey signed an agreement on 9th July to open an office in the metropolis of Istanbul for humanitarian and health emergencies.

In the capital Ankara, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told a press confrence alongside Hans Kluge, WHO's regional director for Europe, once opened, the U.N. office will guide efforts to meet current needs in the novel Covid-19 outbreak.

Koca said, "We expect WHO to become a more proactive structure in the new era, especially in emergencies. He urged a "period of the global consulation, in which WHO is reevaluated with its truths, mistakes, successes and failures. For his part Kluge said the office in Turkey's largest city would help serve Europe. He added, "Turkey is my first official trip since COVID-19 travel restriction measures started to be eased." “You showed humanitarian spirit by providing COVID-19 testing, treatment, and care for all, including refugees and migrants,” he said, adding that Turkey exemplified global unity by sharing and helping with protective equipment with over 130 countries and five international organizations.

Story of success

On Turkey's success in the fight against Covid-19, Kluge attributed this to factors such as wise political leadership and policies, implementation, and speed.

"Turkey was quick. We saw the speed that the country replied to European countries made a huge difference," he added.

Data since April shows Turkey "turning the corner"in its battle with Covid-19, reducing caseloads and deaths by over 755, said Kluge, stressing the importance of emergency preparation and readiness, developing local diagonstic tests, strengthening testing, contact tracing and treatment. Voicing appreciation and respect for Turkey's solidatory in the face of covid-19, Kluge also praised the country's success in fighting the pandemic with low deaths among the elderly. "We must also be ready to address high risks, especially among the elderly, in the autumn, when the influenza season arrives. To sustain Turkey's success this far with low mortality from Covid-19 among the elderly, we will need targeted interventions, such as flu vaccinations, infection prevention and control. Kluge also told German authorities that the current conditions in Turkey would allow a reopening of borders to the country.

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