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Egyptian soldier tests positive for Covid-19 in Thailand



“The CCSA is asking anyone who thinks they may have had physical contact with an Egyptian soldier,  should come forward for testing.”

Thailand’s Covid-19 taskforce is on alert today, stepping up tracing in the eastern part of the country, after am air crew from an Egyptian military airplane tested positive for the virus. When the Centre of Covid-19 Administration reported 3 new cases of the Covid-19 today – ‪2 Thais and 1 foreigner (an Egyptian) – they also asked people who had come in contact with the Egyptian man to come forward for testing.

The Egyptian Air Force crew was staying at a hotel in Rayong (eastern province) along with other members of his crew.

Spokesperson Dr. Taweesin says “the 43 year Egyptian was among a group of 30 personnel who flew into Thailand on July 8. The following day, the group left for China and returned to Thailand the same night, checking into the hotel for a one-night stay, before departing for Egypt on July 11.”

“All the men were screened and swab tested on their arrival from China on July 10.  A second swab tests was conducted the next day, before their departure. But the results, which came back yesterday (Sunday), showed 1 of them was positive for Covid-19.”

“While in Rayong province, the infected soldier is reported to have left the hotel to visit a “shopping mall and a few other venues”, adding that Thai public health officials have been tracing people who might have had physical contact with the soldier.”

Among all the crew off the Egyptian military airplane, which landed at U-tapao airport in Rayong last Wednesday, only the one crew tested positive for Covid-19. All the others tested negative, although other crew also visited venues around Rayong as well. Under Thailand’s emergency decree rulings, personnel on military aircraft – Thai or foreign – are legally exempted from undergoing the mandatory state quarantine when they arrive.

The incident has prompted PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to order a revamp of measures concerning arrivals of special foreign delegations, to prevent a repeat of the incident. The CCSA is asking anyone who thinks they may have had physical contact with an Egyptian soldier,  should come forward for testing.

The 2 other new infections were reported as a 48 year old Thai worker arriving from Kuwait on a flight, on which 10 other asymptomatic passengers had earlier tested positive for the virus.

And  the other case was reported as a 22 year old Thai woman, returning from Bahrain, who had a fever and was found to be infected on her arrival on July 12.

Dr. Taweesin says that there was also the case of a 9 year old girl, who came to Thailand from Africa as part of a diplomatic mission. Prior to the departure on July 7, she was cleared of the disease, but she tested positive 3 days later and was sent to a private hospital for treatment. Currently the whole family is held in quarantine at a ‘Covid-condo’ in Bangkok.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | China Daily


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