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Taiwan considers airlifting COVID patient, other citizens out of India

Gravely ill Taiwan representative office staff member to be flown out by insurance company: MOFA

Indians waiting for coronavirus vaccination in Mumbai. 

Indians waiting for coronavirus vaccination in Mumbai.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Wednesday (May 5) it is in talks with travel agencies about airlifting Taiwanese citizens out of India as well as considering flying a representative office staff member infected with the coronavirus to an unspecified country in the region.

India has been thrust into the global spotlight as it faces a shortage of oxygen amidst a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Responding to questions from lawmakers, Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) said MOFA is considering the possibility of organizing a charter flight for Taiwanese who want to leave India.

In a separate development, he confirmed that an insurance company aircraft would fly an infected member of a representative office to a safer country in the region for medical treatment. Lawmakers said six staff members have been listed as coronavirus patients, CNA reported.

Overall, 20 Taiwanese in India have been infected, Tien said, with 15 already having recovered. One Taiwanese citizen has passed away, two are in serious condition, and two others have been moved into quarantine, he said.

The deputy minister pointed out that Taiwanese residents in India can also book flights out of the country through Japanese airlines, adding that 20 have already done so.