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80 Thai workers returning from South Korea escape airport, search underway

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Bangkok Post

Thai media report that some 80 Thai nationals, out of a total of 200 who arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport yesterday on four flights after returning from working illegally in South Korea, have fled. Authorities are urgently searching for the 80, who escaped from a restricted area as they were about to be escorted to a naval base in Chon Buri province’s Sattahip district for quarantine after screening for the Covid-19 coronavirus .

Authorities did not give details of how the returnees managed to escape, but Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutaecha says he has instructed the Disease Control Department to find their names and addresses from the list of all of yesterday’s returnees and to to locate them, so they can enter their mandatory 14-day quarantine period. All the escapees will face tough legal action under the Disease Control Act.

The director of Airports of Thailand, Sutherrawat Suwanrat, announced today that there were 104 passengers, including 88 Thais, on the first flight from South Korea yesterday. 15 were found to have high fevers and were immediately sent for further tests to determine whether they are infected with COVID-19. 66 others were described as “at high risk.”

He says the high-risk Thai passengers were sent to Sattahip naval base for screening, and the remaining Thais were sent to the airport’s fire station to be taken to their home provinces for quarantine at designated sites.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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