Turkey will suspend imports from China of all kinds of animal products as new measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the country's health minister announced on Friday.
Fahrettin Koca said all imports of living and non-living animals, animal products and waste products would be halted temporarily, underlining that the virus was zoonotic, meaning it had jumped from animals to humans.
Koca noted that though it remained unclear which animal the virus had originated in, precautions had been placed to prevent possible animal-borne infection.
The suspended imports include poultry, seafood, mollusks, animal fats and similar products, he said.
On early Friday, World Health Organization announced the death toll from coronavirus -- which originated in central Wuhan city in December last year -- climbed to 637, with 31,211 confirmed cases in China.
The virus is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats.
Besides China, the virus has spread to more than 20 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.
There are 270 confirmed cases of coronavirus in 24 countries, with one death.
Many countries have evacuated their citizens from the city of Wuhan -- the epicenter of the virus -- and other affected areas of China, placing them in isolated medical care.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international emergency.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit