Editor Tuguldur Batmunkh

(ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia) The National Emergency Commission (NEC) held its 22nd emergency session amid increasing COVID-19 thread, on Monday, May 25, 2020 (Ulaanbaatar Time).

With the presence of the Prime Minister Khurelshukh Ukhnaa and other cabinet members, the NEC has finally issued its recommendation to prolong the National State of Emergency which mandates full border closure until June 30, 2020, and the NEC recommendation is now due at the full cabinet meeting scheduled on May 27, 2020, and the emergency rule is likely approved by the full Cabinet meeting according to the Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa’s speech at the session. Furthermore, Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa emphasized that “…Mongolia may not open its border anytime soon until effectively proven COVID-19 vaccine is available worldwide…”.

As of Monday, May 25, 2020 there have been 141 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mongolia which entirely imported from various foreign countries mostly from Russia, and Mongolia is the one of the few countries where no domestically  transmitted COVID-19 case reported.

Mongolia has closed its border to all inbound flights and land ports, except special Government convoy flights to only bring its citizens in limited numbers to elders, pregnant and sick people due to domestic quarantine capacity and government policy to prevent potential outbreak in this county. The only countries Mongolia is able carry out such direct flights are Korea, China, Russia, Turkey and Germany, and recently Mongolia has reached an agreement with India to scramble a jet to rescue its citizens.

Per current government ruling, anyone from abroad has mandatory 21 days quarantine under strict government supervision which consequently limits government’s ability to bring its citizens who have been on the long wait list to be admitted home, due to limited number of hospital beds available within the health department’s possession.

According to the Mongolian Government data, there have been over 11,275 Mongolian citizens trapped in 46 different countries who have requested immediate government action for home return, and government officials are now scratching their heads to find answers under intense pressure.

The current border lock down rule under the National State of Emergency is set to expire on May 31, 2020, and it is expected to continue at least 30 days until June 30, 2020 as the Prime Minister vows to shut down borders until this nation is safe from COVID-19 pandemic.

This story is developing and more updates will come…

Washington DC, USA
May 25, 2020

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