Stranded Taiwan travelers successfully evacuated from Peru

55 Taiwanese citizens board charter plane, will transfer at US airport before returning home

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Taiwanese travelers successfully evacuated from Peru via charter plane. (LATAM Airlines photo)

Taiwanese travelers successfully evacuated from Peru via charter plane. (LATAM Airlines photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed Sunday (March 29) that 55 Taiwanese trapped in Peru due to the country's lockdown have boarded a charter flight and will return to Taiwan in a few days.

At a media conference, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the second batch of Taiwanese were able to board an evacuation plane prepared by LATAM Airlines Sunday morning, along with 84 passengers of other nationalities. Ou said the flight will arrive at Miami International Airport, where the Taiwanese will be able to book their own flights to Taiwan.

On March 20, 72 Taiwanese tourists left Peru on a flight for the U.S.

Ou pointed out that the travelers had been stranded in the South American nation since it issued a lockdown order on March 16 to contain the spread of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). She added that Taiwan's representative office in Peru had negotiated with local authorities to arrange the flight, but all 55 citizens had to pay for their seats, reported Liberty Times.

After the evacuation of the 55 Taiwanese nationals, Ou said 22 citizens still remain in Peru. She said the government will stay in touch with these individuals while attempting to bring them home as soon as possible.

In an effort to stem the coronavirus outbreak, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra announced that the country was halting all international air and sea travel until April 12, according to New Talk. As of Sunday morning, there have been 671 COVID-19 infections reported in Peru, including 16 deaths.