Thai officials today are meeting to figure out how to extricate dozens of citizens from the Chinese city on lockdown due to a viral outbreak after a student there pleaded for help.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks said today that they are making plans to evacuate Thais from the city of Wuhan – 54 students and 10 workers – one day after a Thai student published her plea online.
“Right now most students over here don’t have enough food because we didn’t stockpile food in advance due to the sudden shutdown,” Pasnicha Krutdamrongchai, a student at Wuhan University, wrote Sunday in her online appeal. “We can’t go outside to buy food anywhere and supermarkets nearby run out of food.”
China blocked travel from Wuhan and surrounding cities on Thursday, after which the number of infections in that country have tripled to more than 2,000.
Pasnicha said her friends and classmates from the United States, Japan and Indonesia had been contacted by their embassies with promises of quick evacuation.
“I’m still waiting for help from Thai government. If I continue living here, I don’t know if I’ll starve to death or die of the virus first. I really want to go. I’m waiting with hope,” Pasnicha wrote.
Busadee said none of the Thai nationals has been infected with the virus.
Air force commander Manat Wongwat said that several C-130 transport planes and medical team are prepared to proceed with the evacuation as soon as the plan gets a green light.
The first case of coronavirus, nicknamed Wuhan pneumonia, was first reported mid-December in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. The virus has infected more than 2,000 people and killed dozens in China alone, leading to Thursday’s transportation shut down. Residents have been advised not to leave their homes.