Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Erdogan sought to downplay coronavirus spread over fear of tourism industry collapse: Report

ANI | Updated: Mar 17, 2020 16:28 IST


Washington DC [USA], Mar 17 (ANI): Turkish Health Ministry remained in denial of the existing cases of coronavirus in the country despite evidence showing confirmed cases having travel history to Turkey, as authorities silenced whistleblowers and used media to push the narrative of the country managing to keep the disease at bay, an American international affairs magazine has claimed.
As per an article by Michael Rubin in The National Interest, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to downplay the reports of coronavirus under the fear of the collapse of country's tourism industry -- a move that gambled the lives of 80 million Turks amid the outbreak of coronavirus which has killed more than 6600 people globally.
Turkey's crucial tourism sector saw its revenues grow to USD 30 billion in 2018. Erdogan had promised that the country would host as many as 50 million tourists, raising that said figure by at least 20 percent. Adding to it the factor that the country has invested approximately USD 12 billion in a new Istanbul airport, expected to be the world's largest.
Late on Monday (local time), Turkey reported 29 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of those infected in the country to 47.
The report further cited a Turkish doctor claiming that "60 percent of Turks may now be infected from the virus and that Erdogan is retarding testing" so as to prevent the scale of the catastrophe from becoming known.
Globally, the coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has infected more than 167,500 people and killed 6600 others. (ANI)

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