Ankara sends medical aid to Afghanistan, Guinea to tackle COVID-19

Turkey will send medical aid to Afghanistan and Guinea as part of international agreements signed with the two countries aiming at curbing the global spread of the coronavirus, according to a ruling published in the country’s Official Gazette Tuesday.

The deal outlines aid to be donated by Turkey, including five patient monitoring devices, 10 ventilators, 10 oxygen concentrators, 10 oxygen regulators, 10 aspirators, two steam sterilizer autoclaves, 10 laryngoscopes, two defibrillators, three PCR machines, 10 nebulizers and 30,000 COVID-19 RT-q PCR diagnostic test kits.

Turkey will also donate medication to Afghanistan, including 1,000 packets of vitamin C tablets, 1,000 packets of azithromycin, 500 packets of vitamin D and 1,000 packets of hydroxychloroquine sulfate for use in treating the coronavirus.

Another 25,000 disposable N95 face masks and 50,000 surgical and regular masks are to be donated to Afghanistan as part of the agreement.

“This donation is to be granted by the Government of the Republic of Turkey to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as a gesture of friendship and goodwill,” the agreement said.

Separately, another agreement between Turkey and the Oceanic island-nation of New Guinea was signed on April 17 in Ankara.

According to the deal, Turkey will donate 300,000 surgical masks, 50,000 N95 face masks, 20,000 pieces of protective coveralls, 30,000 PCR diagnostic kits, 30,000 extraction kits and 30,000 swabs to the country.

Turkey, as a country that has made a name for itself in the last decade with its humanitarian efforts, has already become a prominent figure of this fresh statecraft by sending medical aid packages to many corners of the globe every other day.

The first aid kits were delivered to China on Jan. 31, with protective overalls, 93,500 medical masks, 500 medical protective glasses and 10,000 nonsterilized pieces of equipment.

Turkey’s aid packages mostly include medical masks, protective overalls and gloves, as well as disinfectants. All equipment was produced at military-owned factories and at sewing workshops that produce military uniforms and other clothing for the army.

Turkey has a long tradition of sending humanitarian aid to countries facing difficulties, even to those with whom it has tense diplomatic relations. For instance, in 1938, only a decade after the country’s foundation following a bloody war, Turkey sent medicine to China amid the outbreak of cholera in the Far East. Similarly, in 1941, Turkey sent medicine to the Greek army upon the request of Greece, a country that fought against Turkey during the liberation war. Similar aid has been provided to many other countries over the years, including Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

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