ANKARA

Turkey on Thursday dispatched a planeload of medical aid to Venezuela in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“A Turkish Armed Forces aircraft carrying medical supplies arranged by the Health Ministry upon the directives of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for protection against the coronavirus outbreak took off from the Ankara Etimesgut Airbase for Venezuela,” the National Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

The boxes of supplies also carried a message for the people of the South American nation whose economy is crippled by US sanctions.

“After hopelessness, there is so much hope, and after darkness, there is the much brighter sun,” it said, quoting the words of 13th-century Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi.

Turkey has sent medical aid to nearly 140 countries to help them combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Since first appearing in China last December, the virus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. The US, Brazil, India, and Russia are currently the countries hardest hit in the world.

The pandemic has killed more than 584,000 people worldwide, with an excess of 13.4 million confirmed cases, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The number of recoveries across the globe surpassed 7.5 million early Thursday.

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