Egypt's Sisi, Turkey's Erdoğan are facilitators of coronavirus outbreak - analyst

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi help the spread of coronavirus by not offering a clear picture of the problem for political interest, Middle East scholar Steven A. Cook said in an article for Foreign Policy magazine.

"Who among the current crop of leaders of major Middle Eastern countries can people turn to for clear, dispassionate, fact-based information? Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?" Cook said.

Turkey's close ties with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement have been a source of tension between Turkey and Egypt with Ankara cutting off relations with Cairo following the coup that overthrew Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and replaced him with al-Sisi in 2013. Since then, Erdoğan declared al-Sisi his archenemy.

But, the two leaders follow a similar path when it comes to crisis management, Cook said.

"The utter disdain the leaders harbour for their people and the related brutality with which many Middle Easterners have been treated has undermined—individually and collectively—the basic humanity, in the form of basic community, necessary for people to cope and survive."

Less than half of Turkey believes the Health Ministry is taking the right precautions and sharing accurate information on the deadly coronavirus, according to a new survey by polling company KONDA.

Only 45 percent believe the Health Ministry and the country’s health organisations are taking adequate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country while the same percentage believe that health institutions are sharing accurate information on the outbreak of the novel virus.