As the coronavirus pandemic hits 192 countries and the death toll soars, Mongolia has evacuated nearly 1000 people from South Korea, Japan and Europe this month. The process, however, is being constrained by the country’s ability to receive and quarantine people suspected of carrying the disease. Additional government-chartered flights are currently under discussion.
The country has reported 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus: nine Mongolian citizens evacuated from abroad and a French national who brought COVID-19 in infection-free Mongolia on 10 March.
Many other Mongolians have requested to return home from Russia, India and Kazakhstan. For example, Some 300 Mongolians who live or study in Italy have requested to return home with a chartered flight as quickly as possible. In Italy the death toll from the disease is over 6000, which exceeds that of China.
At the same time, however, some Mongolians have initiated an online campaign calling people stay where they are. The ‘We will not return’ campaign is being supported by many Mongolians living, studying or simply visiting foreign countries. The initiators are stressing that Mongolia currently does not have the capacity of receiving 600 people all at once. We need to protect our families and our country from COVID-19. We will return home after the coronavirus pandemic is over.