A Turkish state-run agency handed over 10,000 N95 face masks Tuesday to Kalafong Hospital in the South African capital Pretoria to help health workers there curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.   

Mehmet Akif Sekerci, program coordinator for the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), said the masks will be distributed to medical personnel at the hospital and the Mohau Child Care Center, which was renovated and equipped by TIKA two years ago.

The center provides care and support to orphaned children affected by HIV/AIDS.

“Turkey is ranked as the most effective and one of the most prepared countries against the new type of coronavirus pandemic,” Sekerci said.  

“While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some countries are experiencing a shortage of personal protective gear, and therefore, upon request, Turkey provided the necessary equipment to Kalafong Hospital,” he said.

Despite Turkey battling its own coronavirus outbreak, the Turkish government has been hands-on helping countries and organizations abroad with protective gear and food aid since the outbreak of virus.  

Esther Jaca, a manager at the Mohau Child Care Center, expressed her appreciation to TIKA and the Turkish people for their assistance in the fight against COVID-19.  

South Africa is one of the most affected countries in Africa by the virus, with 4,996 confirmed cases and 93 deaths.

Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Elif Comoglu Ulgen applauded her country for being among the most generous in the world when it comes to providing humanitarian aid.

She also said TIKA has extended its helping hand by reaching some of the most remote and neglected areas in the world.

She also praised South Africa for doing its best to combat the spread of COVID-19, saying it is one of the countries that has implemented the fastest and most effective measures to combat the virus.

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