Thailand Readies Evacuation of Stranded Thais in Wuhan

27th Jan 2020

Bangkok Street

The kingdom of Thailand is ready to ferry Thai nationals stranded in Wuhan, China, saying it is just awaiting permission from the Chinese government.

Thailand Prime Minister (PM) Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday that he ordered aircraft to remain on standby to evacuate Thai nationals who wish to return home.

He said that Thailand was informed by China that it could still contain the virus. “China confirmed that it can still control the virus. Flights must be approved by the destination country first. As long as the situation is under control, they are unnecessary. Otherwise, there would be a confusion of flights from other countries,” he was quoted as saying.

The prime minister said he had ordered evacuation preparations months ago and that the kingdom formed teams of medical personnel for the task.

The Embassy of Thailand in China was also in the process of gathering a list of Thai residents wishing to return home.

To recall, Wuhan Airport was ordered locked down in a bid to prevent the 2019 novel coronavirus from spreading into other countries. This after a deadly virus hit Wuhan, killing 56 people, including one in Shanghai.

Around 1,900 people have confirmed cases of the virus, of which more than 200 people are in critical condition.

Chan-o-cha said that the kingdom is prioritizing the matter and that further announcements will be made.

Meanwhile, Royal Thai Air Force Air Chief Marshal Manat Wongwat said C-130 planes were on standby for possible evacuation. The flight between Wuhan and Bangkok is approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes.