Türkİye, World, Health

En route to Wuhan for evacuation, Turkey’s plane lands in Mongolia to refuel

Turkish cargo plane en route to China to evacuate citizens from Wuhan, heart of coronavirus outbreak

Ali Murat Alhas  | 31.01.2020 - Update : 01.02.2020
En route to Wuhan for evacuation, Turkey’s plane lands in Mongolia to refuel ( MSB - Anadolu Ajansı )


A Turkish cargo plane, en route to China on Friday to evacuate Turkish citizens from Wuhan, the heart of deadly coronavirus outbreak, landed in Mongolia’s capital to refuel.

Turkish Armed Forces’ A400M type cargo plane departed Turkish capital Ankara on Friday at 12 p.m. local time (0900GMT) to airlift the citizens of Turkey and other nearby countries from Wuhan.

With 11 military personnel, six health employees, two press members and one Foreign Ministry representative on board, the plane landed in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, at 1700GMT to replenish its fuel storage.

According to the military officials, the plane is expected to complete its refueling in an hour and leave Mongolia to arrive in China at around 2200GMT and remain there for about two hours.

The Turkish plane, at the initiative of the Health Ministry, at least 30 Turkish citizens, as well as people from several other nationalities.

The death toll in China from the novel coronavirus outbreak has climbed to 213, the National Health Commission said Friday. The number of confirmed cases has surged to some 8,000.

The situation is apparently grave as the city with a population of 11 million has turned into an isolated region due to measures of Chinese government.

Turkish government, for its part, upon the call of its citizen in China, dispatched a military cargo jet -- which is temporarily turned into an ambulance plane -- to bring them back from Wuhan, in collaboration with Chinese counterparts.

Turkey’s Health Ministry previously said that the people to be evacuated did not carry any symptoms related to the deadly coronavirus, however, it assigned a health team of six experts to run blood tests and scan the health condition of the evacuees to eliminate a potential risk in homeland.

If approved by the medical team, the evacuees are going to be allowed to get on the plane whose next destination is going to be Ankara.

Upon returning to Turkey, all people aboard are going to be transferred to a hospital in Ankara where they will be in quarantine for 14 days in line with coronavirus incubation period.

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