ISTANBUL – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump have spoken on the phone, discussing the coronavirus pandemic, bilateral relations and regional developments.
According to an account of the phone call shared by the Turkish presidency’s office on Sunday, the two leaders agreed to continue their “close cooperation” against the threats posed by the coronavirus on public health and the economy. This would be a “necessity of the spirit of solidarity required by being NATO allies,” the message said.
The two leaders also spoke on the phone at the end of March.
The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world and Turkey now ranks seventh, according to Johns Hopkins University’s data on the coronavirus pandemic. They have both surpassed China, where COVID-19 emerged, the figures show.
Turkey’s health minister said that a total of 2,017 people have died of the coronavirus in the country, with 127 new deaths in the last 24 hours. Fahrettin Koca, in figures tweeted Sunday, said 3,977 new infections were confirmed in the past day, bringing the total number to 86,306.
Confirmed cases in Turkey have surpassed the rates in neighboring Iran, according to John Hopkins University’s data.
The minister also said 11,976 people have recovered so far in Turkey, including 1,523 in the past 24 hours.
A weekend lockdown in 31 Turkish provinces is nearing its end, after which people between the ages of 20 and 65 can move around. But the government has urged people to stay at home and hopes the rate of infections will reach its peak in the coming days.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and could lead to death.