Turkey will send medical supplies to Somalia to help the country combat the novel coronavirus outbreak, the presidential spokesman said on Friday.

“Today, by instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a cargo load of medical supplies, masks, overalls, test kits and other equipment is going to Somalia to help them against COVID-19,” Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter. 

“Turkey stands together with Somalia and Africa against all calamities,” Kalin added.

Recalling Erdogan’s first visit to Somalia in 2011 when “tens of thousands of people had died because of the famine,” Kalin said: “The visit drew the world’s attention to the forsaken country of Somalia and Erdogan became the hope of our Somali brothers and sisters.”

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 187 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

Over 3.27 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll surpassing 233,700 and more than 1 million recoveries, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.

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