ANKARA

A Turkish state agency and Turkish civil society groups in the UK are distributing aid to needy people, including the elderly, amid the coronavirus lockdown.

The British Turkish Cypriot Association, International Democrat Union, and other groups are working together with the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) in facilitating the initiative, the Diaspora COVID-19 Support and Coordination Program.

Distribution of 1,000 aid packages containing food and personal care products began on Thursday.

Packages will be distributed throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Making and donating masks

With this program, started by the YTB, people who lack access to basic needs due to virus restrictions are supported through collaborative efforts of expats and Turkish civil society groups.

Some of these groups also produce masks in their workshops with the funds they receive from YTB, with the masks then donated to nursing homes and hospitals.

Under the program, healthcare workers are also paid regular visits and given gifts to help keep their morale high.

In the UK, more than 30,100 people have died of the coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China late last year.

COVID-19 cases have been reported in 187 countries and regions, with the US being the worst-hit.

Many countries, including Spain, Italy, and Germany, have eased virus restrictions following a slowdown in the virus’ spread.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, has said that the UK will move to a “second phase” only when there is a “sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths from coronavirus” and “reliable data to show that the rate of infection is decreasing.”

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