ISTANBUL 

A group of Turkish nationals who were evacuated from Argentina and Brazil will be placed under a 14-day quarantine Thursday as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Their flight landed at Istanbul Airport, and the group will be housed at a dormitory in Tekirdag province after health checks.

Turkey has so far repatriated nearly 70,000 of its nationals from 107 countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran said Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, the country reported a total of 131,744 coronavirus cases, 78,202 of which have fully recovered. The death toll stands at 3,584.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 187 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

The pandemic has killed over 263,000 worldwide, with the number of infections totaling more than 3.75 million and recoveries surpassing 1.24 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.

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