ANKARA

At least 76 Turkish citizens who got ill abroad were evacuated and brought home in 2019, said the country’s foreign minister on Sunday.

“Some 84 citizens who got ill abroad in 2018 and 76 citizens in 2019 were brought to our country by air ambulance,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu on Twitter.

His statement came after Turkey evacuated its citizen from Sweden who contracted the novel coronavirus but was not given treatment.

“Brother Emrullah, welcome to our country. We have never left our citizens alone, no matter where in the world and we will not [leave them alone],” he said.

In Malmo, Sweden, Emrullah Gulusken tested positive for COVID-19 but was denied treatment by authorities. His daughters Leyla and Samira shared posts on social media, asking for help.

Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca took swift action, and brought the family back.

A Turkish air ambulance left Malmo Airport at 9 a.m. local time (0700GMT) to bring stranded Gulusken and his family from Sweden and arrived at the Ankara Esenboga Airport at 1.30 p.m. local time (1030GMT).

After routine health checks, the patient and his three children were taken to Ankara Sehir Hospital.

After being first detected in China late last year, the virus has spread to 185 countries and regions.

It has killed over 205,600 people and infected above 2.9 million, while more than 860,000 have recovered, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.

Copyright 2020 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.