TURKEY: An emergency medical services worker in eastern Turkey who beat the novel coronavirus has helped other COVID-19 patients recover by donating her plasma.
Melek Yildirim, a paramedic living in Diyarbakir, was infected with the virus during a trip to France and overcame it after 13 days of treatment.
Yildirim said when she left Turkey, there were no cases of the virus in the country and that she was among the first people to test positive for COVID-19.
She said that on the fifth day of her compulsory quarantine, she began feeling pain in her joints and had a high fever. Yildirim said she was treated in a hospital for almost a week and went on to self-isolate at home.
"You can spread the virus to your loved ones and even may be the cause of their death.
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"This will cause psychological trauma," she said.
After recovering, Yildirim wanted to be a source of hope for other patients, so she donated her plasma -- a fluid in the blood which is teeming with antibodies that can fight the infection.
She urged everyone who has been infected to make plasma donations once they test negative for the virus after recovery.
The virus has infected 69,392 people in Turkey and caused 1,643 deaths, while 7,089 have recovered.
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The novel coronavirus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions since emerging in Wuhan, China last December, with the US and Europe now the hardest-hit areas.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide exceeds 2.1 million with the death toll at more than 142,000 and over 540,000 recoveries, according to data compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.