First flights of Thai evacuees from Ukraine to arrive on Wednesday
As Russia’s attack on Ukraine enters its fifth day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says around a hundred Thai citizens evacuated from the country are set to arrive in Thailand on Wednesday in a first round of repatriation flights.
The ministry said the first group of 38 Thai evacuees would depart from Bucharest today and arrive in Thailand on Thai Airways International flight TG923 at around 6:25am on Wednesday; the second group of 58 would fly from Warsaw today and arrive on Emirates flight EK384 at around noon tomorrow. These commercial aircraft are deviating from their usual routes to assist in the evacuation effort.
Upon arriving in Thailand, the evacuated Thai nationals will be sent to Sattahip naval base for a 1-day quarantine – per current Test & Go protocols effective today — as all Thais have received at least 2 shots of Covid-19 vaccine, the Bangkok Post reported.
The Thai ambassador to Poland, Chetthapan Maksampan, announced their scheduled arrival, saying the Thai evacuees are currently taking shelter in Warsaw and Bucharest.
The Foreign Ministry reported today that 142 Thais have already been evacuated from Ukraine; 103 are in Warsaw, Poland, and 39 in Bucharest, Romania. Others were on their way to the assistance centre at Lviv in western Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the ministry says the remaining Thais stranded across Ukraine are currently safe. Another 35 have already left various cities, including the besieged capital of Kyiv, for Lviv, which they are expected to reach today.
Because car transport is too dangerous and slow due to congestion caused by the ongoing war, most Thais are fleeing Ukraine by train, if they can board them. The Foreign Ministry has also arranged for buses to transport Thai citizens across the border to Poland and Romania.
There are 2 evacuation routes being used to get Thais out of Ukraine. The first route takes them to Odessa in southern Ukraine and across the border into Romania, where they’ll travel by bus to the capital of Bucharest to fly out of Thailand today and Wednesday. The other route is by bus from Lviv to Warsaw, where they’ll board flights from March 1-4.
On Sunday, 60 Thais evacuated out of Lviv arrived in Warsaw; 39 Thais evacuated out of Odessa arrived in Bucharest. Another 42 Thais from Lviv were expected to arrive in Warsaw today, with another 18 departing from southern Ukraine for Bucharest.
According to the ambassador, there are currently 33 Thais left in Kyiv and 7 in Kharkiv. After contacting them and their employers, it was determined that the conflict in the city was still too dangerous for them to leave safely. They have been instructed to take shelter until the situation improves.
The Royal Thai Embassy in Warsaw earlier reported that around two thirds of the 148 Thai nationals living in the capital had been fled, but that around 40 had chosen to say with their families. Most of them are women who are married to Ukrainian men, who have been enlisted to fight against the Russian invasion. However, the new stats imply that a handful of holdouts had decided to leave before conflict in and around the capital escalated to its current situation.
Meanwhile, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed officials to help all Thais who are trapped in the country and do everything necessary to get them to the help centre at Lyiv. The government says the Department of Employment has also been in touch with the families of Thai workers in Ukraine, who are entitled to financial assistance from the fund for overseas workers.
As the Royal Thai Embassy in Warsaw celebrates its 50th year of diplomatic relations with Poland, the friendship is bearing fruit in time of need, with many Thais already sent safely on their way back to the Land of Smiles.
PHOTOS: (From top) A group of Thai evacuees cross into Poland from Ukraine. A group of Thai evacuees arrive at the Royal Thai Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Royal Thai Embassy in Warsaw
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