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Israel travel ban rankles Thailand

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: A total of 137 people walk out of the quarantine facility at the Sattahip Naval Base in Chon Buri yesterday - Wichan Charoenkiatpakul, Bangkok Post

Thailand wants Israel to reconsider its decision, announced Tuesday, to ban Thais from entering the country in a bid to control the spread of deadly coronavirus (Covid-19). Israel banned all non-Israelis who have been in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau in the previous 14 days. Previously, Israel’s health ministry had imposed only a 14-day house quarantine on visitors from the four areas.

As a result of the ban, the Labour Ministry will be forced to postpone sending Thai workers to Israel under an employment cooperation project between the two countries. Pannabha Chandraramya, the Thai ambassador in Tel Aviv, met Gilad Cohen, deputy director-general for Asia and the Pacific at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to explain Thailand’s measures to prevent and control coronarivus and clarify the outbreak situation in Thailand. Thailand hopes Israel will review the ban after learning about the measures, given the good relations between the countries.

The vast majority of virus cases are in China; only 35 cases have been confirmed in Thailand, 17 of whom have made full recoveries and been discharged from hospital. Thailand has had no fatalities related to the virus.

Israel travel ban rankles Thailand | News by Thaiger

SCREENSHOT: Johns Hopkins CSSE

“Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs listened and understood. It will contact other agencies, particularly Israel’s Ministry of Public Health.”

Meir Shlomo, Israel’s ambassador to Thailand, told reporters yesterday that the Israeli Ministry of Health’s decision was aimed at preventing the spread of the Covid-19 to Israel. He says Israeli ministries are following developments closely and re-assessing the situation in Thailand and other countries and territories daily.

“No one knows at this stage how long the current situation will last.”

However, Schlomo says the two countries will “continue to share information and preserve a spirit of mutual confidence, as they have done in so many fields for so many years”

“Several thousand Thai tourists, businesspeople and workers in agriculture travel to Israel every year. We do hope they will all be able to reschedule their flights and travel to Israel in the very near future.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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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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