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First Thai team arrives in quake-hit Turkey

First Thai team arrives in quake-hit Turkey

TURKEY: The first Thai rescue team arrived in Istanbul yesterday (Feb 10) while the Public Health Ministry announced its readiness to send an army medical team today, said the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Dr Narong Apikulwanich.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 11 February 2023, 10:55AM

The death toll is Turkey and Syria is approaching 24,000, officials say. Photo: AFP

The death toll is Turkey and Syria is approaching 24,000, officials say. Photo: AFP

Dr Narong said yesterday that the Thai urban search and rescue (USAR) team - made up of 42 rescue workers and two sniffer dogs - flew to Turkey via Turkish Airlines on Thursday night to assist for 10 days with search and rescue efforts, where local officials have confirmed th death toll is approaching 24,000.

The Royal Thai Army will also send 17 officers from the Military Medical Emergency Response Team (M-MERT) to Turkey today to join the USAR. The M-MERT comprises paediatric orthopaedists, surgeons, emergency medical specialists and internists, reports the Bangkok Post.

Dr Narong said that the Turkish government had contacted Thailand’s Department of European Affairs for necessary medicine and medical equipment worth B3 million.

The budget is subsidised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Narong added that the Turkish government had requested a paramedic team from Thailand.

However, Thai emergency medical technicians are not certified by the WHO to operate as paramedic teams, he said.

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Dr Narong stated that there would be more discussions on the situation to manage the roles of Thai rescue workers and operations for the medical team.

Yesterday, USAR Thailand posted on its Facebook page details about the mission’s two rescue dogs - Sierra, 6, and Sahara, 5, which are golden retrievers from the Thailand Rescue Dog Association.

“The first K9 search and rescue team is ready to help victims among the debris. We are at Suvarnabhumi airport, ready for boarding to Turkey tonight,” wrote USAR Thailand.

During the Turkish Airlines flight, the pilot and cabin crew expressed their gratitude to the Thai rescue workers for going to assist earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.

Apart from the assistance provided by the Thai government, the mission is also supported by donations from Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) with instant food, Thai Beverage (ThaiBev) for drinking water and blankets, True Corporation for communications sim cards and Dhipaya Insurance for Thai rescue workers’ insurance.

For Thai citizens in Turkey needing emergency assistance, the Thai embassy in Ankara can be reached via +90 533 641 5698 for 24 hours and its Facebook page.

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Kurt | 13 February 2023 - 20:10:14

The Thai rescue team arrives days late, to take over from other int rescue teams who now depart Turkey. Strange that formalistic discussion or Thai M-MERT teams are certified by WHO or not. Any medical support even at low level is there now welcome. DR Narong seems not to understand that now is time to help, not time for Thai slow discussions. That is for other times. Now... Help there!


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