11 July 2024

The Thai government has decided to charter an aircraft from a commercial airline, rather than a military transport plane, to evacuate Thai people trapped in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Wednesday).

He explained that the change is intended to avoid potential difficulties pertaining to international aviation.

He added, however, that it will be the Chinese authorities who determine whether the Thai people there are clear of coronavirus infection, in which case they will be allowed to leave China.

The Chinese government has recently allowed Japan to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan, the first country to be granted such access. 206 Japanese citizens were evacuated, four of whom had a fever and/or a cough.

Regarding the control of the spread of the virus in Thailand, the Prime Minister reiterated that his administration has taken stringent preventative measures to cope with the situation and is fully up to date with the situation and information abroad.

He said that, while screening of arriving and departing Chinese tourists, the Thai government must remain sensitive to maintaining the good relations between Thailand and China.

He stressed that it is important that Thailand has confidence that China, the country which was the source of the coronavirus outbreak, is capable of containing the virus.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit assured the public that there are enough face masks to meet demand for protection against both the virus and PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere.

About 30 million face masks are produced each month and the Internal Trade Department called a meeting today with the manufacturers to ensure that there will be a sufficient supply to meet public demand, while preventing hoarding or high pricing by profiteers.