ANKARA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The government of Turkey has threatened to take over the face mask factories unless they agreed to sell the product to the government by the deadline on Monday (3/23/2020) night as the country continues efforts to curb the spreading of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Earlier, the relevant authorities conducted an inspection at a mask production site on Sunday (3/22/2020) and asked the face mask manufacturers to sign a contract with the Ministry of Health, as well as prohibiting them from stockpiling supplies, as quoted from Hurriyet.
"We remind them once again to sign a contract with the Ministry of Health, by 20:00 tonight. Otherwise, we will move in and take action with the other authorities," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.
Soylu added, "We will buy the masks at a good price too. God is a witness that they have a few more hours or we will take over the factory."
The coronavirus infection rate in Turkey has now reached more than 1,200 confirmed cases, while the death toll from the virus that attacks the respiratory system has risen from nine to 30 patients.
A series of steps have been taken to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 since it first appeared in Turkey about two weeks ago, including limiting the use of public space, imposing travel restrictions, and disbursing aid funds to the economic sector affected by the pandemic.
With an increasing number of cases, more than 10,000 people throughout Turkey are required to undergo quarantine. They face a fine if they do not comply with these regulations.
The government said it had conducted coronavirus tests by as many as 20,345 times, as well as exporting a number of medical needs to other countries, but currently meeting domestic needs was a top priority.
Last week, the government implemented restrictions on face mask through the requirement of a doctor's prescription for purchasing certain types of masks.