Turkish doctors on Monday gave the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine to a health worker.

Asim Basturk, 53, volunteered for the phase 3 test of the vaccine developed by China.

Speaking to reporters, Dr. Mustafa Sait Gonen, dean of Turkey’s leading Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, said: “Today, we began the Phase 3 study of the Chinese origin vaccine from the Cerrahpasa medical school.”

Giving a break up of patients they attended to since March, he said, out of 335,000 patients who visited the facility; 27,000 were treated for COVID-19 and 77,000 tests were conducted.

“This is an important day for the Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty. This struggle [against the virus] continues in Cerrahpasa, as in other hospitals and in the world,” he added.

Also speaking, Basturk said: “I volunteered for this of my own will. Of course, we want this [virus] which is creating trouble for Turkey and the world to be eliminated soon.”

The virus that first appeared in China last December has spread to 188 countries and regions, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

More than 33 million people have been infected, including over 998,000 deaths and nearly 23 million recoveries.

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