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“Koh Samui is still safe”, Covid-19 measures in place – Health Minister

Caitlin Ashworth

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“Koh Samui is still safe”, Covid-19 measures in place – Health Minister | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau
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Koh Samui is safe to visit … apparently. Even though a woman on the island recently tested positive for Covid-19, the world’s favourite public health minister is assuring the Koh Samui public that health measures on the island are effective and it’s still a safe destination for tourists, presumably the few Thai tourists willing to pay extortionate airfares demanded by Bangkok Airways.

The 57 year old Thai/French woman tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine accommodation where she spent the mandatory 2 weeks in isolation after entering the country. She complained of a fever a few days before going to a hospital on the island. Although she didn’t feel well, she went shopping at a Big C and 7-Eleven.

Health officials investigating the case say they found traces of the virus on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine accommodation, leading them to suspect she came in contact with the virus before arriving to Koh Samui.

In response to the case, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul travelled the island to deliver 1,000 tablets of the antiviral drug Favipiravir to local hospitals. The drug has been approved in Thailand to treat Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms.

Anutin is urging the public not to worry, saying the island is safe and people can visit as usual. He says there are stringent health measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Although Koh Samui reported a rare case of the virus detected outside of quarantine, Anutin says he’s more concerned with the risk of transmission at Bangkok’s ongoing protests. He says he’s instructed the Department of Medical Services to set up medical tents at protest sites that will provide face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand| Facebook: NNB

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jason

    October 27, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    I can’t leave my country to visit you anyway. Maybe it’s time for the TAT to realise that no one is coming to Pattaya, Phuket or anywhere else in Thailand. No one wants to spend 14 days quarantine in an ASQ hotel and then spend 14 days in quarantine in their home country. Of course i could holiday in the Seychelles….only 4 active cases…visa on arrival and no quarantine!!

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 27, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    The Seychelles, the Maldives … the world’s your oyster so why not?

    Just be careful before you put your money down, as the lists of permitted countries change on a weekly basis.

    • Avatar

      EdwardV

      October 27, 2020 at 6:34 pm

      Some yes, others have been pretty stable for awhile now. Regardless let’s not forget places like Tahiti/Bora Bora, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Croatia, Hawaii … the list keeps going. Fear is a powerful deterrent.

  3. Avatar

    Jilted John

    October 28, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    It will be interesting to see how the Thai Govt and media react if one of the student protesters catches Covid.

    I imagine they’d both be snookered…

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

16 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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16 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine | The Thaiger

16 new Covid-19 cases were detected in quarantine, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. The total number of confirmed cases in Thailand is raised to 3,942 with 3,788 recoveries and 60 deaths. 94 people are currently receiving medical treatment for the coronavirus.

  • 9 Thai nationals travelling from Turkey tested positive for Covid-19. They arrived to Thailand on November 20 and tested positive a few days later. 3 of them reported symptoms including a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever and fatigue.
  • An 11 year old Thai student travelling from the United States with a layover in Hong Kong tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived to Thailand on November 12 and tested positive 12 days later while at a Chon Buri state quarantine facility.
  • A 43 year old Thai man travelling from the United Arab Emirates tested positive for Covid-19. He arrived to Thailand on November 13 and tested positive 11 days later while at a Chon Buri state quarantine facility.
  • A 44 year old Thai man travelling from Kuwait with a layover in Qatar tested positive for Covid-19. He arrived on November 17 and tested positive 3 days later at a Chon Buri state quarantine facility.
  • A 48 year old Thai man travelling from Qatar tested positive for Covid-19. He arrived to Thailand on November 17 and tested positive 3 days later while at at Chon Buri state quarantine facility.
  • A 31 year old Thai woman travelling from Sweden with a layover in Germany tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived on November 19 and tested positive 4 days later while at a Bangkok quarantine hotel.
  • A 62 year old Thai woman travelling from Switzerland tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at a screening point at the Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 25. She reported symptoms of a headache and phlegm.
  • A 23 year old Kuwaiti woman travelling from Kuwait with a layover in the United Arab Emirates tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived on November 16 and tested positive a week later while in quarantine at a hospital Bangkok for medical treatment unrelated to the coronavirus. Her health records show that she was previously infected with Covid-19 on September 21.

16 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coming back to Thailand? Here are some of the steps you need to know about.

The Thaiger

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Coming back to Thailand? Here are some of the steps you need to know about. | The Thaiger

Want to come back to Thailand? Whilst the borders are still closed to simple visa-on-arrival and general tourism, you CAN get back to the country at this time if you have the resources, patience and need to get the requisite paperwork together. There will be red tape, stumbles and conflicting information. But be persistent and you’ll be able to travel to Thailand at this time.

The country is open, the beaches are pristine and mostly empty, and the shops are open in many locations, especially around Bangkok. Sure, many parts of the more touristy locations are still largely closed but there are plenty of Thai experiences still awaiting you as the country slowly re-opens for tourism. There’s also plenty of bars and nightlife re-opened and happy to welcome you back.

Please, before you do anything else, check with your country’s Thai Embassy to confirm the current situation for re-entry to Thailand for citizens of your country. In many cases the 500,000 Thai baht minimum bank balance requirement has now been dropped. Financial requirements are now, routinely, US$700 for a single traveller or US$1,500 for a family.

The situation is also continuously evolving. The Thaiger routinely publishes all changes and modifications to the visa and quarantine requirements at this time.

Quarantine

There is still a mandatory requirement for 14 days quarantine at an ASQ, Alternative State Quarantine, a registered hotel that has paid up with a local hospital. HERE‘s a list of registered ASQ hotels. Prices for your quarantine stay range from 23,000 – over 100,000 depending on the quality and space you desire. One of the main differences will be the quality of the food, so ask about the menus available – you’ll be stuck with little choice for your 14 day stay! In most cases you’ll be required to pay upfront and provide proof of payment as part of your visa applications. Some hotels allow a deposit and balance on arrival.

A few people have catalogued their journey through quarantine and the paperwork. Read HERE, and HERE and HERE and HERE. And watch Nick Davies interview with The Thaiger.

Flights

You’ll also need to present proof of your airline ticket to Thailand. New flights are being added all the time back into Thailand as previously grounded airlines are slowly dusting off their aircraft and adding new flights as demand increases. We would recommend searching for flights through an aggregator like skyscanner.com but, when you find a flight at the right time and price, book directly through the airline as it’s easier to deal directly through the airline at this time if things change (and they do, especially at this time).

Testing

You will need to provide proof of a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours of your departure date. The test and results should take less than 24 hours. You should contact your local health providers or insurers ahead of time so that you will be able to schedule this to fit in with your plans.

Fit-to-fly certificate

Depending on your country, you will be able to get this from a local health practitioner or GP, and even online in some cases. but You’ll need to forward your negative Covid-19 test as evidence for the “fit-to-fly” certificate to be issued.

Insurance

You will need specific medical insurance covering US$100,000, including cover for Covid-19. The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) has published its preferred list of Thai insurers HERE, but there are plenty of others. Safety Wing also has coverage HERE. And AXA has bespoke policies for medical insurance at this time HERE. This insurance is not overly expensive.

Certificate of Entry

A certificate of entry is required for every person entering Thailand. Go to this website HERE and follow the links.

VISA

Apart from all the other paperwork, created by Thailand’s desire to control potential threats from new Covid cases entering Thailand, you’ll also need a visa. There are a few options at the moment including the STV, Special Tourist Visa, the updated 60 day tourist visa and Elite Visas through the Thailand Elite Visa program. You should discuss your options at your local Thai embassy.

Do your homework before you undertake this venture as your timing of the various elements will be critical to a smooth flow of the red tape required. Also do a complete budget of the elements required to get back to Thailand.

Coming back to Thailand? Here are some of the steps you need to know about. | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai virologist says vaccinating 40 million Thais next year will be a challenge

Maya Taylor

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Thai virologist says vaccinating 40 million Thais next year will be a challenge | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: National Cancer Institute

A prominent Thai virologist has admitted that vaccinating 60% of the population against Covid-19 next year will not be easy. Dr Yong Pooworavan says this is because 40 million people receiving 2 doses each means the country needs access to 80 million doses. Yesterday, it was confirmed that Thailand hopes to begin production and administration of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine in the first half of 2021.

However, Yong remains hopeful that the Covid-19 situation will improve in 2021 but adds that the virus will linger in the Kingdom for up to 2 years, before becoming more like a seasonal flu. His advice for people in Thailand is to continue with preventative measures such as mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing, for at least another year.

Yong has also announced that doctors used plasma from a recovered Covid-19 patient to treat a Swiss national who was seriously ill with the virus while in state quarantine. It’s understood the man had developed pneumonia and was on a respirator, but following 10 days of the plasma treatment, his condition has improved.

Yong says the Thai Red Cross has around 600 bottles of plasma serum, which was donated by recovered patients and can be used to treat those who become seriously ill with the Covid-19 virus.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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