ISTANBUL

The Turkish president will join efforts to create an EU-led fund to fight against the novel coronavirus, the presidential spokesman said on Saturday.

“Next week, with the participation of our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan], efforts will be put to establish a joint vaccine fund led by the EU,” said Ibrahim Kalin speaking to local news channel 24 TV.

He added that Turkey will contribute to the efforts as well.

Pointing out the studies on a possible vaccine in different countries, Kalin said that a “mechanism should bring these efforts together”.

Kalin also recalled that on Saturday Turkey sent locally produced ventilators to “brotherly country” Somalia.

“These ventilators were produced in a very short time by the works of devoted Turkish engineers,” he added.

Earlier on Saturday, Erdogan said that the domestic ventilators, made through recent technological advances, “will breathe new life into Somalia, which suffers from a severe shortage of ventilators.”

More than 3.4 million cases have been reported in 187 countries and regions since the virus emerged in China last December, with the US and Europe the world’s hardest-hit areas.

A significant number of COVID-19 patients — over 1.07 million — have recovered, but the disease has also claimed more than 242,000 lives so far, according to data compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Handan Kazanci

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