Coronavirus: 1,500 stranded foreign passengers bussed to northern Turkey

People wear protective face masks due to coronavirus concerns in Istanbul, Turkey on March 13, 2020. (Reuters)

Some 1,500 passengers from Algeria, Tunisia and Jordan stranded at Istanbul airport by the coronavirus pandemic have been taken to a dormitory in northern Turkey, local media reported on Thursday.

The passengers - the majority Algerian -were trapped with flights to their home countries were cancelled.

They were bussed to a students' dormitory in the northern city of Karabuk, the private DHA news agency reported.

Istanbul Airport operator IGA said Tuesday that more than 1,000 Algerians were at the airport for several days as Ankara tried to “persuade the Algerian government to grant landing rights for the affected flights.“

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The North African country has suspended since March 19 all scheduled travel links with Europe in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke with his counterparts from Algeria and Tunisia on Wednesday, according to a diplomatic source.

As of Thursday, Turkey had recorded 59 coronavirus-related deaths and 2,433 cases.

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Last Update: 19:09 KSA 22:09 - GMT 19:09
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