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Chiang Rai man tests positive for Covid-19 after contact with infected returnees

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Post Today

A 28 year old Chiang Rai man tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday. Health officials believe the man contracted the virus from one of the 10 infected Thai women who recently returned from Myanmar’s border town Tachileik, evading the mandatory 14 day quarantine.

So far, at least 699 people came in contact with the women after they returned, according to permanent secretary of health Kiatiphum Wongrajit. Health officials say the 28 year old man spent time with 3 of the women from November 28 to December 1. The patient is now being treated at a hospital.

The women say they worked at hotels and entertainment venues in Tachileik, many are linked to the 1G1 hotel and entertainment venue in the district. After crossing the border and entering Chiang Rai, some women travelled to Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phichit and Ratchaburi. Some had coronavirus symptoms while they travelled. Kiatiphum says the women are being treated at hospitals, all with mild symptoms.

175 people considered to be at “high risk” have tested negative for Covid-19 and are undergoing a quarantine period. 524 people at “low risk” are also in isolation. If they remain Covid-19 free by the end of the quarantine period, health officials can declare that there was no spread of the virus, Kiatiphum says.

Thailand has only had about a handful local Covid-19 transmissions since September after going 100 days without a local case. Health officials have speculated that most of those cases may have been imported. In rare cases, the incubation period for the virus is longer than 14 days.

“A spread of the disease should be out of the question now.”

Media reports say the women “sneaked” across the Thai-Myanmar border, skipping Covid-19 screening and the mandatory quarantine. The women could face charges for entering Thailand illegally and violating the Emergency Decree. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says he’s asked authorities to press charges “to the fullest extent of the law.”

Now, 150 Thais in Tachileik have asked for permission to legally return to Thailand, according to acting director general of the Department of Disease Control Opas Karnkawinpong. So far, 3 Thai nationals who recently returned to Chiang Rai through the official entry process tested positive for Covid-19 and are now in quarantine.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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  1. Avatar


    Friday, December 4, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Oh dear. Looks like the smug Thai loverboys on this board are about to get a bit of the pandemic.
    Thailand perfect, So glad i in Thailand during pandemic, keep the borders closed to other farangs blah blah blah.
    Now find out what it’s like to be in a third world country during a health emergency.
    No flights out and no where to return to.
    Best of luck.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, December 4, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      I don’t know what “Thailand” you’re talking about, Peter, but in the one I’m in there are plenty of “flights out” and it’s no problem to “return”.

      Although the airport was closed very briefly, nine months ago, there are plenty of “flights out” and plenty of empty seats on them as more seats are occuped on the flights in than the flights out.

      … and for most here in a similar position to me with a re-entry permit, there’s no problem over “returning” apart from the ASQ.

      … and FWIW I’ve used the government health system here a few times (regularly as an outpatient, a few times in A & E, and once as an in-patient) and I couldn’t be happier with it. If I was unfortunate enough to need long-term treatment I’d probably be better off in the UK on the NHS (although that’s questionable at the moment with the delays due to Covid-19), but generally I’m far better off here.

      A couple of friends of mine who usually live here have unfortunately been ‘stuck’ in the UK for a few months for family reasons; both were tired of ‘Thai ways’ after several years and were planning on returning to the UK in a year or two with their Thai partners, having been back to the UK every year for a few weeks; now, after living there for a few months, they both can’t wait to get back to Thailand and any thoughts of a return to the UK are well and truly out.

      • Avatar


        Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:45 pm

        Issan John

        Yes, lots of flights out of Thailand, I flew to the UK from BKK in August, there was a lot of choices.

        I have been to the A&E a few times in Thailand, the last times a series of visits cost £3500, but as I had travel insurance for the seven months I was there this year then OK, but if I had anything serious then the UK is the only place to be.

        Treatment at the moment in the UK?

        As fantastic as ever, my sister in law (Thai) was on a life support machine, induced coma for two weeks due to the virus a few weeks ago and is now recovering after being in the hospital for a month, she said ‘Thank god I am in England and not Thailand when this happened otherwise I would have had it’

        Some of us farangs love both the UK and Thailand and are not stuck in any one county, we decide where to be.

        But one thing I will always do is keep money, finances etc in the UK and make sure I have a return ticket when in Thailand as we are second class citizens there with no rights and no indefinite leave to stay, we are at the whim of the government and that tends to change very dramatically every now and then.

      • Avatar

        James R

        Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:47 pm

        Issan John

        Oops, my comment above is from James R and not just James as there is recently another commentator with that name at large.

  2. Avatar


    Friday, December 4, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Hey Thaiger, how about some investigative reporting here. With supposedly 699 people having been ‘in contact’ with these typhoid Mary’s perhaps you could as a few of them;

    – were any of these girls sick?
    – are you sick?
    – if you are in quarantine/isolation, what are you being ‘treated’ for?
    – do you think it is legal to quarantine (house arrest) anyone if they are healthy?
    – are you being monetarily compensated for being held under house arrest ?

  3. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 3:44 am

    “A spread of the disease should be out of the question now.” Who declared that? I hope not a doctor with the public health system in Thailand, unless they want to get even less credibility than they already have.

    It’s been established that each infected person can infect 2-5 other people, not including super-spreader infections. At an average rate of 3, that means about 2500 people can be infected in 5 days.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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