Turkish, Azeri and Georgian evacuees dressed in protective suits and wearing masks leave a Turkish military cargo plane as they are flanked by medical workers upon their arrival from China’s Wuhan in Ankara, Turkey, February 1, 2020. — Reuters pic

Turkey says to export fast-results coronavirus detection kit

ANKARA, Feb 14 — Turkey will in coming days export to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan locally-produced coronavirus detection kits that can get results in about two hours, its health minister said today.

China’s coronavirus outbreak has showed no sign of peaking with health authorities reporting more than 5,000 new cases earlier today.

Earlier this month, Turkey evacuated 42 people from China’s Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, and kept them quarantined for 14 days while authorities ran tests.

Speaking in Ankara after the quarantine period expired with no detected infections, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Turkey’s coronavirus detection kit has a 99.6 per cent accuracy rate.

The kit was produced in line with data from the World Health Organisation and can get results in 90-120 minutes, a bit less than in Germany or France, he said.

Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan requested some 10,000 kits each and Turkey will begin exporting them in coming days, Koca said. “We will be exporting this in line with the demand we receive.”

Ankara has said there are no known cases of the virus in the country and authorities are using thermal cameras at airports as well as other protective measures. Turkish Airlines suspended flights to China after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was declaring the outbreak a global emergency. — Reuters