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Health minister says no travel ban

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PHOTO: Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul hands out facemasks in Bangkok - AFP

Thailand’s public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul now says imposing a travel ban on Chinese citizens won’t help the government’s fight against coronavirus 2019nCov epidemic.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Anutin said the infection is being found even in countries and territories that have restricted or closed their borders to Chinese travelers. Instead of a travel ban, he says, the government will focus on increased screening and medical treatment, and a decision not to impose a travel ban will have “a positive result” on Thai-Chinese relations in the future.

His announcement is a U-turn from his previous stance, proposing a suspension of visas-on-arrival for Chinese tourists, a proposal that was  rejected by the Cabinet.
About 10.9 million Chinese nationals visited Thailand in 2019, the largest chunk of tourism revenues for the Kingdom.

Thailand counts 25 patients infected with the coronavirus so far, with eight having fully recovered and been discharged from hospital.
Source: Khaosod

 

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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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