Singapore rescues 92 citizens trapped at epicenter of Chinese viral outbreak

Pre-flight preparations by MFA, MOT, CAAS, airport and airline officers at Changi Airport for flight to Wuhan. Photo: Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry
Pre-flight preparations by MFA, MOT, CAAS, airport and airline officers at Changi Airport for flight to Wuhan. Photo: Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry

While other nations’ evacuation efforts have been flustered by red tape, Singapore sent a budget airline to rescue 92 people from the Chinese city of Wuhan where they had been caught inside a viral outbreak exclusion zone.

The city-state’s Foreign Ministry announced today that the sequestered Singaporeans boarded a plane belonging to Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low-cost carrier. They landed at about 11:40am on Flight TR121, according to public flight data.

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan expressed “appreciation” to his Chinese counterpart for “facilitating the safe return of these Singaporeans,” the ministry’s statement read.

The Singaporeans were accompanied by consular officers and will undergo medical screening at Changi Airport. Those showing symptoms will be taken to hospitals while the rest will be quarantined for two weeks.

Those with fever or respiratory symptoms will be taken to designated hospitals for further examination, while the remaining passengers, including the MFA Consular Officers who facilitated the return of these Singaporeans from Wuhan, will be quarantined for 14 days,” the ministry’s statement said. 

Singaporeans queueing up at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport to board flight to return home. Photo: Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry
Singaporeans queueing up at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport to board flight to return home. Photo: Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry

While China reportedly has no objections to evacuation by civilian aircraft, it has balked at allowing foreign military into its territory.

Japan and the United States have already airlifted hundreds aboard commercial carriers as confirmed infections shot past those of SARS nearly two decades ago. Thailand, Malaysia and Australia are among nations still awaiting permission from Beijing. 

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said yesterday that China does not allow military flights into its territory to retrieve foreign nationals. A commercial aircraft belonging to All Nippon Airways was used yesterday to transport more than 200 Japanese out of Wuhan. A chartered airliner – Kalita Air – evacuated 195 Americans from Wuhan to Alaska. 

Singapore has counted its 10th case of Wuhan coronavirus after three more were publicly confirmed yesterday. 

The total number of 2019-nCoV cases confirmed in China is now more than that of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, in 2003, when there were around 5,000. The country’s National Health Commission reported nearly 8,000 confirmed cases and 170 deaths as of Thursday morning.

Related:

10th Wuhan infection in Singapore as China asserts sovereignty to bar military evacs
Singapore bars entry of travelers from Wuhan as two more infections confirmed
Malaysia confirms 7 coronavirus cases, one man arrested for spreading fake news on disease
‘I really want to go home,’ says Thai student trapped in Wuhan without food

Cookware Essentials for your COVID-19 Lockdown: Order your Cast Iron Skillet, Bread Maker, and Steamboat Pot online

READ MORE

CITY: SINGAPORECATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH, POLITICS

By signing up for our newsletters you agree with our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Leave a Reply

Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on
MOST POPULAR

Send this to a friend