A Turkish cargo plane carrying a second batch of medical supplies arrived in Serbia on Saturday to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The A-400M freighter took off from Etimesgut military airport in Ankara, the Turkish capital, and carried equipment such as fans, masks, overalls and goggles.
The plane landed at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport and was greeted by the Turkish Ambassador to Serbia, Tanju Bilgiç, and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajic.
The aid consists of 16 tons of medical supplies needed to fight COVID-19.
Ljajic thanked Turkey for their help and said: “The plane is full of protective equipment, medical equipment, disinfectants and other relief supplies for two or three cities, ie two or three municipalities in Serbia.”
He added that this had again demonstrated excellent relations between the two countries and their two presidents, as well as Turkey’s concern for good relations and the people of Serbia.
Bilgiç said Turkey would continue to work with Serbia in the fight against the pandemic.
“The aid we have given today is the result of working with central and local authorities. I hope that this aid will contribute to the fight against COVID-19 in the region. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Serbian authorities for their proximity thank the cooperation with our country and wish everyone good health, “said Bilgiç.
The first set of deliveries was dispatched on June 12th. Over 15,500 COVID-19 cases and 298 deaths have been confirmed in Serbia, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
Since it first appeared in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. The US, Brazil and Russia are currently the hardest hit countries in the world.
The pandemic has killed nearly 525,500 people worldwide, with infections exceeding 11 million and recovery exceeding 5.88 million.
Turkey sends medical aid packages to different parts of the world every other day.
“We have sent medical equipment and relief supplies to 138 countries, regardless of religion, language, race or region,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday at an inauguration ceremony for a new state hospital in Istanbul.
The president said the country’s aid program against the virus laid the foundation for new opportunities in medical tourism. “We are determined to make Turkey the health center of three continents,” he said, alluding to Asia, Africa and Europe with Turkey at the center.
“Thanks to the measures we have taken and the methods we have developed, we are among the countries that survived the epidemic with the least loss of life,” he said.
In addition to the company’s own hospitals, many countries “from Brazil to Somalia” used breathing apparatus made in Turkey, he added.
“Interest in health products originating in our country has grown exponentially,” he said.