The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Turkey threatens to seize factories hoarding coronavirus face masks Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Turkey threatens to seize factories hoarding coronavirus face masks

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed 30 lives in Turkey [NurPhoto]

Date of publication: 23 March, 2020

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Ankara has accused mask-producing firms of stockpiling face masks for profit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Turkey has threatened to seize control of face mask-producing factories unless they agree to sell their life-saving products to the government by Monday night.

Authorities carried out simultaneous raids on the factories of all mask-producing firms in Turkey on Sunday to demand they sign contracts with the health ministry and help the country tackle the coronavirus outbreak, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu was quoted as saying by the Hurriyet daily newspaper.

The firms have been accused of "hoarding" face masks amid the COVID-19 outbreak, which has claimed 30 lives over the past two weeks.

Health authorities across the world are facing a devastating shortage of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic.

Such equipment helps to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus, and is particularly necessary for medical workers who come into contact with the disease.

"We warned them once again to sign contracts with our health ministry by 20:00 tonight. Otherwise, we have other authorities and we will never shy away from using these," Soylu was quoted as saying in Hurriyet.

"We will buy these [masks], and for a good price," the interior minister said. "God is our witness, they have 10-12 hours or we will seize their factories tomorrow."

Turkey's death toll from the novel coronavirus rose by nine to 30 on Sunday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, with 1,256 confirmed cases.

Ankara says it has conducted more than 20,000 tests so far.

Meanwhile, government officials are encouraging citizens to stay at home and have implemented a raft of measures to limit the use of public spaces.

On Saturday, authorities barred citizens over 65 and those with chronic health conditions from leaving their homes.

Another 10,750 are currently in quarantine, Soylu said on Monday.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected

Read Also

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More