BATMAN, Turkey

Turkey on Wednesday evacuated at least 90 Turkish nationals from Iraq and others from Uzbekistan, and placed all expats under a 14-day quarantine to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

All 90 expats from Iraq, brought back to Turkey via buses, were sent to the southeastern Batman province for a 14-day quarantine in dormitories after health checks.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Provincial Director of Youth and Sports Safi Ozperk said they are currently hosting 162 expats from Kazakhstan and Iraq at the dormitory.

Ozperk added the country continues to bring back its citizens who wish to return home.

In a separate operation, Turkey brought back its citizens from Uzbekistan on Wednesday. 

Expats, brought back to Turkey via a charter plane, arrived in Istanbul and were sent to northwestern Yalova and Duzce provinces for a 14-day quarantine in dormitories following routine health examinations.

The Turkish government has repatriated nearly 70,000 of its nationals from various countries since the start of the outbreak.

As of Tuesday, the country reported a total of 141,475 coronavirus cases, 98,889 of which have fully recovered. The death toll stands at 3,894.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to 187 countries and regions across the world. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed almost 292,000 people, with total infections more than 4.26 million, while over 1.49 million people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

* Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara

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