3,400 Mongolians to be brought back from abroad in JulyPolitics
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. During the press conference of the State Emergency Commission (SEC) on July 17, Deputy Prime Minister Ya.Sodbaatar, who heads the COVID-19 Operative Team of the SEC, announced that the Government does not have enough capacity to bring back all of over 10 thousand Mongolian citizens, who are currently stranded abroad due to Mongolia’s border closure to all passengers caused by concerns over COVID-19 pandemic, within only one month. Addressing some criticism from the public towards the government’s work of repatriation of its citizens from foreign countries, Deputy PM noted that the SEC is currently working to efficiently bring back citizens that have submitted requests to immediately return home and officials are working with aims to increase the number of charter flights to be conducted in the coming month. He then highlighted that the issue will be resolved in a way that the National Center for Communicable Diseases and isolation facilities do not go over capacity. As of July 18, 10,513 Mongolian nationals have officially submitted their requests to return home from 55 countries to the SEC operative team. Among them, there are 1,800 parents with young children, 740 citizens with medical reasons, 797 elderly people, 240 pregnant women, 1,553 university students, 131 adults holding short-term visas for training, 13 children, and over 4,300 citizens with other types of excuses. Alongside the 12 charter flights that were planned for July, additional one flight to Australia, one direct and one transit flight to the Republic of Korea have been put on the plan to bring back 690 citizens, officials reported. With the additional flights set in place, 3,400 citizens will be brought back by a total of 15 charter flights in July. Since the start of the implementation of quarantine measures as part of the heightened state of readiness in January, 67,290 Mongolian nationals have been repatriated from 44 countries in organized manner through auto roads, railway, and air transport. Citizens holding short term visas for courses and training, university students, and those in difficult financial situations will also be prioritized in the selection of the passengers for the charter flights. The returning passengers are immediately being placed into 21-day mandatory isolation upon arrival.