Turkish plane leaves Mongolia with evacuees

Turkish cargo plane en route to Turkey to bring citizens from Wuhan, China, takes off from Mongolia after its refueling

A Turkish cargo plane, en route to Turkey to evacuate Turkish citizens from Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, took off from Mongolia’s capital on Saturday after around two-hours replenishing. The Turkish Armed Forces’ A400M type cargo plane departed from Wuhan on Saturday airlifting 42 people, also including the citizens of Azerbaijan, Albania, and Georgia.

Passengers’ health conditions are good and their oxygen levels, as well as body temperature are normal, the officials told Anadolu Agency reporter on board. 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 3 p.m. local time (0700GMT), to replenish its fuel storage.

During the refueling, the passengers went through medical examinations. The plane is expected to arrive in Turkey at around 7 p.m. local time (1600GMT).

The plane also delivered medical equipment — dispatched by Turkey’s state-run aid and development agency (TIKA) and Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) — to China. The coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, has killed at least 259 people in China, with nearly 12,000 infected. More than 118,000 people are under medical observation. Since its outbreak late last year, China has put Wuhan under lockdown in a bid to contain the virus and is building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat those affected. Beyond China, the virus has spread to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Vietnam, and Canada.

Travelers from China are being screened for the virus at airports worldwide. Several airlines have suspended flights to Wuhan.

Source: Anadolu Agency