ISTANBUL

During medical supply shortages in many countries worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey managed to manufacture and export some 2,000 life-saving mechanical ventilators around the globe, including 1,500 to Brazil, said Turkey’s technology and industry minister on Monday.

Turkey also developed methods to produce two different medicines which it had previously imported, Mustafa Varank told an online meeting on COVID-19 vaccine and medicine projects.

With severe shortness of breath a hallmark of the novel coronavirus, ventilators have been a critical need amid the global pandemic.

Numerous countries faced difficulty finding enough respirators, but Turkey was able to set up production and start manufacturing them within the country and even export them.

Varank also said that the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and a start-up firm are working on a product with high-purity antibodies to fight the virus.

After first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to 188 countries and regions across the world.

The virus has killed over 403,000 people worldwide, with total infections around 7.04 million and some 3.16 million people having recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

With numbers trending downwards, in Turkey the virus has infected 170,132 persons and caused 4,892 deaths so far.

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