Officials watching over sub in Wuhan 'safe from virus'

Officials watching over sub in Wuhan 'safe from virus'

The 20 officers inspecting the navy's submarine construction in China's city of Wuhan -- the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak -- have not been affected by the disease, according to the navy.

V Adm Prachachart Siriwat, deputy chief-of-staff and navy spokesman, said on Saturday the officers are living in an environment that keeps them safe from the potentially deadly virus.

"Please rest assured. There is nothing [regarding the officers' health] to be concerned about," he said.

The 20 officers were appointed to inspect the construction of the submarine commissioned by the navy.

The team, led by Capt Witthaya Panphoka, is working with the China Ship Building Industry Corporation.

Work on the submarine is currently underway in Wuhan, the capital of Central China's Hubei province, with the project proceeding through three phases.

V Adm Prachachart said the outbreak has forced work on the submarine to be adjusted due to the sweeping public health measures implemented by the Chinese authorities to contain the virus.

However, the shipbuilder has given its assurance the handover of the completed submarine will not be delayed.

V Adm Prachachart said the health of the inspection team members was under close watch, although the officers are staying in an area where the virus has not been found yet.

The navy signed an agreement to buy a Yuan Class S26T submarine worth 13.5 billion baht from China in 2017.

Its construction began on Sept 7 last year in China, with the submarine likely to be delivered to the navy in 2023.

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