After beating coronavirus this fall, a top Turkish official is donating his lifesaving immune plasma to help others.

Suleyman Soylu, Turkey’s interior minister, gave the plasma to the Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) in the capital Ankara on Tuesday.

“In this pandemic period, one of the treatment methods that patients need the most is plasma therapy,” he told reporters. “So plasma donations from those who recovered from the disease as approved by the Turkish Red Crescent have an important effect on this process and treating the disease.”

He also urged people to continue to follow hygiene rules, wear masks, keep social distancing, and avoid crowds.

Soylu and his family tested positive for the disease and recovered from COVID-19 in late October and early November.

As of Monday, Turkey reported over 1.86 million cases of the disease, over 1.63 million recoveries, and 16,646 fatalities in total.

On top of its international aid, the Turkish Red Crescent works to help Turkish citizens through donations collected by benefactors and many of its local centers, while its nursing homes, dormitories, and orphanages also help the needy nationwide.

For most Turks, the word “Kizilay” is associated with giving blood, as the aid group holds national blood drives that are vital for hospitals.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus worldwide added another task to the group’s mission, as it now collects immune plasma in an effort to help patients recover.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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