A Turkish aircraft carrying medical aid for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.K. left from the capital province of Ankara on Friday.
Including face masks and protective overalls, the aid packages were sent from Etimesgut Military Airport with a special note quoting 13th-century Sufi mystic Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, who passed away on Dec. 17, 1273, in Konya, then a city in “Turkey Seljuk State,” currently a province in central Turkey. His words translate in English as: “Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”
It is reported that another medical delivery is expected to be made to the UK on Saturday as well.
Previously, Turkey provided medical aid to countries such as Italy, Spain, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.
The UK’s coronavirus death toll rose by 881 to 7,978 people as of 4 pm GMT on April 8, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Thursday, noting that the virus has not peaked yet, and it was too early to lift the lockdown.
“Huge thanks to our friend and ally #Turkey for its generous offer of vital personal protective equipment for #UK medical workers on the frontline of tackling the #Coronavirus,” British Ambassador to Turkey Dominick Chilcott said Friday on his Twitter account following the arrival of the aid.
As of 8 am GMT on April 9, a total of 243,421 had been tested, of which 65,077 were positive, Raab said, speaking at the government’s daily news conference.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on the other hand, left intensive care and was in good spirits, a statement from Downing Street said Thursday.
The statement added that Johnson would be under close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery. He was moved to a general ward at St. Thomas Hospital, where he was staying.
Johnson was admitted to the hospital last Sunday, 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The 55-year-old leader was in quarantine in his Downing Street residence since being diagnosed on March 26 – the first known head of government to fall ill with the virus. He continued to preside over daily meetings on the outbreak until Sunday and released several video messages during his 10 days in isolation.
Meanwhile, a shipment of medical aid and equipment was sent to Libya on Friday, The Libya Observer reported. With this latest move, so far, Turkey has responded to the medical supply requests of 34 out of 93 countries.
Lebanon became yet another country that Turkey provided medical aid. Transferred via the country’s Beirut Embassy, the aid was distributed to 600 families in the Tripoli and Akkar regions on Friday.