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Turkey has adopted necessary measures to protect the ports against the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China.

The coronavirus epidemic has so far killed 427 and infected 20,623 people. There are no known cases of the virus in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.

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Ambarli Coast Health Inspection Center in-charge Murat Serdar Karadeniz said: “We have already taken our precautions against all chemical, biological or radiological hazards.

“Coronavirus is an infectious disease and we have the necessary equipment [to deal with it].”

The airports in Turkey have started thermal scanning of people returning from China. The country has 33 health inspection centres for tackling suspected or confirmed cases of the virus.

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Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

Ports and shipyards in China have experienced operational reduction due to the virus outbreak.

China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) has decided to issue ‘force majeure’ certificates to companies that are struggling with their businesses due to the outbreak.

Chinese ports have decided to reduce the port charges. Guangzhou port, Shanghai Port, Ningbo-Zhoushan port are among the 16 ports offering exemptions and reductions.

In response to the outbreak, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) started temperature screenings at all the checkpoints in the country for passengers who may be infected.

Last month, China imposed a ban on ship entry to the Port of Wuhan to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.