Turkish parliament speaker on Thursday chaired the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) via video-conference.

“COVID-19 essentially reminded us once again that we were a big family and we had a joint destiny and future,” Mustafa Sentop said.

The APA gathered for the first time since the 12th APA Plenary Session held last December in Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.

Turkey will serve as the term president in 2020-2021.

Sentop recalled that more than 10 million people were infected with COVID-19 and the death toll from the pandemic rose to more than 500,000.

“We have experienced a common trouble and pain, and continue to experience it. So we should relieve it and find the solution together,” he said.

Sentop also noted that the international community should be more active in fighting the pandemic.

Turkey’s COVID-19 cases reached 208,938 on Wednesday, including 187,511 recoveries and 5,282 deaths.

The pandemic has claimed over 550,000 lives worldwide, while recoveries exceeded 6.6 million, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University. Total confirmed cases topped 12 million early Thursday.

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