Turkey confirms former general died from coronavirus, as death toll rises to 3
An Istanbul hospital announced on March 19 that Aytaç Yalman, a former commander of the Turkish land forces, has died from the coronavirus. There had been days-long speculations over the medical reason behind his death.
“It has been understood that Aytaç Yalman has died from the coronavirus,” read a statement issued by the chief physician of the Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) on March 19.
The Istanbul hospital also informed that the late general’s wife is undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also confirmed that the former general has died from the coronavirus while informing parliament about the latest developments over the outbreak.
“The coronavirus death toll is now three,” Koca said, offering his condolences to Yalman’s family.
An initial COVID-19 test came out negative for Yalman, the minister said, informing a consecutive study has later proven that he was infected with the virus, as well as his wife and some others who were in contact with the late commander.
“Could a primary test display negative and the next one positive? Yes, it’s always possible and vice versa is also possible,” he stated.
Yalman, who was 80 years old, passed away on March 16 after the treatment he received at GATA. The cause of his death was cited as pneumonia, although there were speculations that he was passed away due to the coronavirus.
The ministry on late March 18 announced one more fatality from the coronavirus, which had brought the total to two. With Yalman, the death toll has risen to three. There are currently 191 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country.