Turkey sends medical aid to UK to help fight coronavirus

A Turkish military cargo plane carrying medical supplies to assist the U.K.’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic landed in London, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Friday.

“Our Turkish Armed Forces plane carrying medical supplies prepared for the UK to help combat the COVID-19 virus has landed in London,” said the ministry in a tweet.

The ministry announced the help operation early Friday via Twitter by saying: “At the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Armed Forces aircraft that will transport to the United Kingdom the medical aid supplies prepared by Turkey’s Health Ministry to be used in the fight against COVID-19 has departed Etimesgut/Ankara.”

The medical aid supplies also carried on a message for the people of the U.K., reading: “After hopelessness, there is so much hope and after darkness, there is the much brighter sun. Rumi.” 

The aid package includes protective masks and overalls.

On Wednesday, U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab thanked Turkey in a phone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for sending medical supplies to help the country deal with the coronavirus pandemic, according to diplomatic sources.

Raab said the move is an “indication of strong friendship between the two countries.”

Turkey also sent medical aid to five Balkan countries including Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo on Wednesday, as well as to Italy and Spain — the countries in Europe worst-hit by the virus — last week.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world.

The pandemic has killed over 97,000 people and infected over 1.61 million, while more than 364,600 people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.