Erdogan says two pandemic hospitals to be built in Istanbul

By: AFP      Published: 12:00 AM, 7 Apr, 2020
Erdogan says two pandemic hospitals to be built in Istanbul

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday two hospitals each with a 1,000 bed capacity, will be built in Istanbul -- the epicentre of coronavirus cases in the country -- to treat infected patients.

Turkey has recorded 649 coronavirus-related deaths and 30,217 cases according to official figures published on Monday.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said last week that more than half of the cases were registered in the country's economic capital, and largest city, Istanbul

Erdogan said Turkey had mobilised all its means to fight the threat, assuring there was no problem in Turkish hospitals in diagnosing and treating the disease. 

"We will complete them (the two hospitals) within 45 days and will open them to public service," Erdogan said in a televised speech.

One of the hospitals is due to be built in the area where the city's former international airport was located on the European side, and the other one-floor hospital at Sancaktepe on the Asian side of Istanbul.  

As part of tougher measures to contain the spread of the virus, Turkey has suspended international flights, banned mass prayers and gatherings and shut schools. 

"With the measures we have taken, and the additional ones, we will overcome this pandemic together with Europe and the world," the Turkish leader said.