Turkey extends closure of schools until April 30 over coronavirus outbreak

Turkey announced that it would extend the in the country until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The closure of schools over deadly will be extended, Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said in his comments during a press conference on Wednesday.

Turkey will extend the closure of all schools in the country until April 30 over the coronavirus outbreak and home schooling will continue during this period, Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said on Wednesday.

Selçuk announced after a meeting of a science council that education would continue with online and broadcast lessons, adding that make-up classes would also be held.

Selçuk also said that high school and university entrance exams could be postponed in a future decision.

Turkey had shut schools and set up a home-schooling system for students to continue lessons after the outbreak of the virus two weeks ago. Fahrettin Koca, speaking alongside Selçuk, said the closure was not a break, but rather a preventative measure to protect families.

The health minister added that 26 coronavirus patients had recovered so far.

"2 COVID-19 patients in Turkey over 60 years old have been discharged from hospital after the treatment under intensive care," Koca said as pointing to Turkey's effort to fight the deadly global pandemic.

Koca said the virus also infected many middle-aged people around the world as well. "The number of middle-aged patients is not small. The virus does not distinguish between the young, old and the middle-aged," said Koca, urging all citizens to stay at home.

Treatment with medicine sent by China has begun for 136 patients under intensive care, said Koca.

He also stressed that Turkey was in a better position due to its timely response since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and has enough capacity to produce masks for both patients and health personnel in the country.

In order to inform the public with data on the outbreak, Koca announced that Turkey would create a digital platform.

He added that the application would be made available for the public to easily obtain reliable information about the coronavirus pandemic.

The total number of patients, tests, deaths, intensive care patients and recovered will be updated daily and shared with the public regularly, he added.

Turkey's death toll from the coronavirus increased by seven to 44 on Tuesday and the number of confirmed cases rose by 343 to 1,872. On Wednesday, the Health Ministry said 26 patients had recovered so far, the first figures of recovery in the country.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has spread to at least 172 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now surpassed 441,100 while the death toll is over 19,700 and more than 111,800 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.

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