TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Sunday (Aug. 15) said that a charter flight bringing back Taiwanese nationals in Myanmar arrived that afternoon at 3:17 pm.
A total of 79 Taiwanese and foreigners with Taiwan residence permits were aboard the flight, according to a MOFA press release. Upon landing, the passengers were immediately brought to a central quarantine facility in accordance with national pandemic prevention regulations.
MOFA said that Taiwan’s national carriers had suspended all flights to the Southeast Asian country as the COVID situation grew severe. This prevented many Taiwanese nationals from returning home. Therefore, the Myanmar Taiwanese Business Association (MTBA) contacted the local Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) for assistance in arranging charter flights.
After days of communication between the MTBA, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center, the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and TECO-Myanmar, they arranged flights operated by Myanmar Airways International to bring citizens home, per the press release.
MOFA said Taiwanese businessmen living in Myanmar are vital in backing Taiwan’s New Southbound policy, adding that they are the “driving force for various exchanges and cooperation” between the two countries. The ministry said it will continue to pay attention to the COVID situation in the Southeast Asian nation and maintain close contact with the MTBA and the local Taiwanese diaspora to be able to assist them at any time.