Turkish doctors on Monday gave the first needle of the coronavirus vaccine to a health worker.

Asım Baştürk, 53, volunteered for the third phase of a vaccine test developed by China.

Speaking to reporters, Dr. Mustafa Sait Gönen, dean of the main Turkish Faculty of Medicine at Cerrahpaşa University in Istanbul, said: “Today, we started testing the phase 3 vaccine of Chinese origin from Cerrahpaşa Medical School.”

He said that of the 335,000 patients who had visited the institution since March, 27,000 had been treated for COVD-19 and 77,000 had been tested.

“This is an important day for the Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine. “This fight (against the virus) continues in Cerrahpaşa, as in other hospitals and in the world,” he added.

Baştürk also said: “I became a volunteer of my own free will. “Of course, we want this virus, which is causing trouble for Turkey and the world, to be eliminated soon.”

The virus, which first appeared in China last December, has spread almost worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US.

More than 33 million people have been infected, including over 998,000 deaths and nearly 23 million cured.