LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN MONGOLIA
By: taipei 2020/04/06

In Mongolia, so far has 298 cases with 272 recovered and no death records.

As early as mid-February, when the new coronavirus was beginning to spread within Chinese borders, the Mongolian government’s strategy was to adopt decisive preventative measures. By canceling the national holiday Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian lunar new year, the country was able to slow travel between Ulaanbaatar and provinces outside the capital. Additionally, Mongolia closed its borders with China and Russia, stopping the inflow and outflow of people, and banned international flights from hotspots like South Korea. These steps have helped immensely to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The first case of COVID-19 in Mongolia was a French energy company employee who traveled into Mongolia via Russia on March 2. The Mongolian government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) quickly responded by containing the man and the people he had been in contact with.

Mongolia has even been active in supporting other countries in combating COVID-19. Mongolian President Battulga Khaltmaa’s visit to China on February 27 was viewed as an example of the most genuine support to China, which at the time was in the most difficult part of its struggle to contain COVID-19. In support of China’s fight against the virus, Mongolia donated 30,000 sheep as a strategic partner and a neighbor. Mongolia has also been on the receiving end of aid. The United States, as Mongolia’s fifth strategic partner, has committed $1.2 million in financial support to combating COVID-19 in Mongolia.

As of March 30, around 5,600 Mongolian nationals stranded around the globe due to travel restrictions, including more than 1,000 people in the USA, have submitted their requests to return home to the Mongolian Embassies. “Preparations are underway for the charter flights to be operated by the MIAT Mongolian Airlines to Seoul on April 2, Thursday and to Tokyo on April 3, Friday.” Between March 15 and 18, the government chartered four flights to Seoul, Japan, Berlin and Istanbul, bringing almost 1,000 Mongolians. 

On March 28, China granted humanitarian assistance worth 830 thousand Yuans to Mongolia for its effort to combat the Covid-19. The assistance consists of medical items, including 5000 rapid test kits to detect the novel coronavirus, 500,000 disposable face masks, as well as disposable protective overalls and gloves.

According to a survey conducted by the Mongolian Tourism Association, 70 percent of tourists who planned and booked a trip to Mongolia in 2020 canceled their trip. The spread of COVID-19 worldwide started influencing on tourist sector. In 2018, 577 thousand tourists came to Mongolia. In 2020, the number estimated to increase by 24%. Since the quarantine related to the Coronavirus spread, tourists have canceled their bookings which will make tourist sector of Mongolia having no income this year. There are 50-60 thousand employees in this sector, and tourist companies are facing to reduce the employee numbers due to the situation. 

The current situation in Mongolia has not reached a level that could postpone this year's parliamentary elections, by the country's Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh.
Khurelsukh made the remarks after Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga proposed to postpone the country's parliamentary elections to prepare the people for a possible recession because of COVID-19.
"Currently, the situation in our country has not reached a level that can delay the parliamentary elections. If the situation changes and will become different from what we expected, the issue will be discussed," Khurelsukh told a press conference.
The country's legislative elections are scheduled for June 24.