6 June 2024

The Thai government plans to send four flights to bring 690 Thai students and workers back from Egypt next month.

Government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said today that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is closely monitoring the condition of about 4,000 Thai citizens stranded in Egypt, and has ordered authorities to help them as much as possible.

She said that officials at the Thai embassy in Cairo have been working to identify how many of them want to return home.

A total of 410 flew back to Thailand on May 8th and 9th, and 690 more have told the Thai embassy that they want to return to Thailand, said Mrs. Narumon.

Last week, the Thai embassy in Cairo reported 38 Thais in Egypt were infected with coronavirus, but one has recovered.  All the infected are undergoing treatment.

Some of the Thai students recently told Thai PBS about the hardships suffered by seven students stranded in Cairo. They said they had to isolate themselves in their apartment for three months because they were afraid of getting infected if they ventured outside. They also expressed a lack of confidence in the Egyptian healthcare system.

The students also said that Egyptian doctors do not conduct COVID-19 tests if a patient does not exhibit symptoms, but write a prescription for drugs, which have become scarce.

In the case of one of the them becoming infected, the students said that they would try to take care of them and, at the same time, try to avoid becoming infected themselves while waiting to fly back to Thailand.

The students expressed concern, however, about who would look after the infected if they are flown back to Thailand.

Preeda Chuaphudee, an advisor to the Chula Ratchamlntri, the Muslim spiritual leader in Thailand, recently urged the Thai government to increase the frequency of flights, to bring stranded Thais back from Egypt, adding that their relatives appear willing to pay all the expenses incurred.

He also suggested that sick patients should also be flown back, so they can get proper treatment in Thailand.


Related story: Thai Embassy reports 38 Thais in Egypt infected with coronavirus