Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

New Covid-19 test in the works, quarantine could be shortened

Caitlin Ashworth

Published 

 on 

PHOTO: Phuket Airport Health Control / Facebook

Thailand’s mandatory quarantine for those entering the country could be reduced from 14 days to 10 days or even less if new Covid-19 testing kits are reliable, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

The new Covid-19 testing kits are in the process of being developed by the Public Health Ministry. Nation Thailand didn’t report on many details about the test, but say it doesn’t require blood to be drawn and isn’t a swab test. It should take about 3 to 5 days to produce an accurate result.

The ministry has been talking about cutting the quarantine period in half, down to 7 days, for tourists they say are at a “low-risk” of spreading the virus. But changes must be made to the quarantine system to make sure shortening the isolation period doesn’t lead to any new transmissions, according to the deputy director-general of the ministry’s Department of Disease Control, Tanarak Plipat.

“7 day quarantine is possible in the case of areas with very low infections. But it doesn’t mean that we will no longer have additional controls. If we do it, we must redesign the quarantine system, together with measures to monitor those people to make sure the country is safe from the outbreak.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fabian

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Good timing with the emergency decree. Bring on the tourists!

  2. Avatar

    Jamespc

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    It doesn’t matter if they reduce the quarantine period the govt. have to be realistic about insurance. My travel insurance covers me for up to 10m GBP but Thai govt. Will not accept it. Why? Simple they want to make money on selling their own insurance. It’s the same with the hotels and flights. They are shooting themselves in the foot. Thailand will never regain its foreign tourists because they are treating us deplorably.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 6:36 pm

      “My travel insurance covers me for up to 10m GBP but Thai govt. Will not accept it. Why?”

      Because it can’t be readily verified and you could have written and printed it yourself.

      It’s really pretty simple, which is why other countries have similar policies.

      Thailand’s handling of issues such as the extension of visas for those already here and the absurd STV saga has been little less than deplorable, but for “foreign tourists” thinking about coming here the hurdles and restrictions, and the need for them, are the same in Cambodia, Vietnam or Bali.

      If that doesn’t suit you then you can always go elsewhere, but I doubt many of the 40 million tourists that came here last year will be going to the Virgin Islands instead.

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11:44 pm

        John, To be fair it’s pretty easy to verify insurance quality and coverage. It can be done as part of the pre-travel documentation to getting a visa. After all there is only a handful of companies who do international health insurance with covid-19 coverage. As to Cambodia, they don’t require you purchase from their local company. It is offered and the price is right there on the embassy website, but you are able to supply outside coverage.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:25 am

          Sorry, I beg to differ and actually it’d be a great deal of work – with no readily available database it would mean verifying every certificate individually, from every country – not just the country of origin or even the country flown from.

          Why should any embassy have to do that?

          As for Cambodia, i) they aren’t allowing in any tourists at all yet, ii) hospital costs for the sponsored businessmen they are letting in have to also be guaranteed by their sponsor, and iii) they also have to put down a deposit of $2,000 ($3,000 for tourists, once permitted) to cover any costs from quarantine in a hotel, to quarantine in a “state facility”, to hospital costs.

          Cambodia makes Thailand’s requirements look simple (and cheap).

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 5:07 am

          … and although you’re correct that that’s what the website says, it also says it’s subject to being updated. If you plough through all the attached updates there from the various ministries you’ll find in the small print of the update from the Health Ministry dated 26 June that the only insurance accepted is from ‘Forte Insurance’ at a cost of $90.

      • Avatar

        Stephen Westrip

        Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:04 am

        What absolute rubbish! It is pretty easy for the Thai Embassy in a country to know which are reputable insurers and which are not.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:34 pm

          Of course it’s “pretty easy”, but then you’re making each Thai embassy the arbiter of who’s a reputable insurer or not, with all the scope for corruption that entails.

          You’re also ignoring the reality that far from all tourists and visitors arrive in Thailand (or anywhere else) from their home country, and plenty will have medical insurance from other countries. Most long-stay Brits in Thailand using BUPA, for example, will use BUPA Thailand for their insurance rather than BUPA UK as it’s considerably cheaper for Brits, for what’s required, even if you factor in things like Forces’ discounts.

          You’re also ignoring, crucially, that most insurers will be unable to make the required information readily available for Thai embassies or immigration to check as doing so and giving them access to their databases would break their own countries’ data protection laws.

          It would simply be impossible for the embassies and immigration to check 40 million policies a year, from countless different insurers world-wide, even if they wanted to.

          … but, of course, every one coming to Thailand may be honest and it wouldn’t cross their minds to just PhotoShop their own insurance certificate … after all, no-one on a retirement extension ever did that with their pension statements when they could, and no-one’s have ever tried to leave a hospital in Thailand without paying the bill …

      • Avatar

        Sash

        Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 10:12 am

        They’ve accepted my insurance, twice now, and the COE process has been rather simple on both occasions through 2 different embassy’s.
        I’m about to enter Thailand for the 2nd time since the Covid saga. Unless your policy specifically states you’re covered for Covid-19 they wont accept it.
        My guess, you’re not covered for Covid, or there’s no mention of it in the information you supplied.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Not a blood or swab test? That cuts down the options where bodily fluids are concerned …

    … and 3 to 5 days for test results cuts down the options too …

  4. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    3-5 days for result? And test that not blood or swab? Err so what is it? Slow Magic? My bullshit sense is going haywire

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    I don’t see going from 14 to 10 or even 7 days making any real difference. At 7 days you are still not in the range that would draw the typical 30 day tourist. Few if any are willing to loose some 40% of their vacation days between traveling and quarantine. That’s not even taking into account all the extra cost and requirements to travel to Thailand in the first place. Better to just go somewhere that doesn’t have a quarantine, or wait till the spring when a vaccine is available to the average tourist. As long as any quarantine is in place, any numbers will be depressed. The question is there an acceptable level of trade off, or is it better to just leave it as it is and wait for a vaccine? Since that’s not a realistic option unless you want to commit economic suicide, some number less 7 is probably advisable. The only question is where is that sweet spot?

    • Avatar

      Andy

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 1:14 am

      Also ich werde sicher erst wieder nach Thailand reisen wenn diese Quarantäne nicht mehr besteht. Sehr zum Leidwesen meiner Bekannten dort. Habe nur 26 Tage bezahlten Urlaub im Jahr…… Werde wohl oder übel auf den Impfstoff warten. Hoffentlich fällt den thail. Behörden dann nicht noch ein neuer Blödsinn ein um uns dreckige und stinkende Farang abzuhalten als Touristen wieder einzureisen. Die setzen ja lieber auf reiche Qualitätstouristen. Aber bis diese in ausreichender Anzahl überhaupt einreisen muß sich im Land infrastrukturmäßig einiges ändern. Da reicht es nicht mal eben Luxushotels hinzustellen. Und da dieser Plan höchstwahrscheinlich nicht aufgeht ist mann vielleicht doch über uns Billigtouristen froh. Denn oft macht auch die Menge den Umsatz und nicht die wenigen.

    • Avatar

      Stephen Westrip

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:07 am

      7 days does start to make the ASQ hotels more affordable though

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:48 pm

      Sorry, EdwardV, I missed your “wait till the spring when a vaccine is available to the average tourist.”

      I’m far from sure that will make any difference to travel to Thailand or anywhere else – not so much because of the problems of verifying a vaccination, but because of the doubt over whether any vaccination will prevent TRANSMISSION rather than INFECTION. I don’t know if they will or not, or if some will be better than others.

      I would have thought it more likely to be “wait till the spring when a vaccine is available to the average THAI.”

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 10:57 pm

        Ok but if you have been vaccinated and tested to show you don’t have the virus, what is the issue? It’s highly likely Thailand would still require a test prior to travel for entry. Not a big issue for travelers. The idea you need to wait till Thais are vaccinated just went out the window with the country setting up a travel bubble with China.

  6. Avatar

    Laurent Visser

    Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:39 am

    If I have to go into quarantine for 1 minute I won’t come to Thailand

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 3:01 am

    Agreed with you, down to the “trade off”.

    The problem isn’t just balancing the loss of tourists against possible deaths.

    It’s balancing the loss of tourists against the loss of schools, unis and education that the West has had – except Thailand can’t teach on-line as it isn’t available for many students; the loss of jobs and income as bars, restaurants, gyms, dentists and hairdressers have to close as they have in the West to stop the spread of Covid-19 – except Thailand can’t afford to pay “furloughed” or unemployed staff, like the West, so they’ll simply be jobless with no salary; the loss of production in factories as staff fall ill, as they have in the West, or they’re told to self-quarantine as they’ve been in contact with them – except Thailand can’t afford to pay sick leave, like the West, so they’ll either have to lose their jobs or risk working; and the loss of tourists when, like the West, they have to impose lockdowns and curfews because they relaxed their border controls too soon …..

    In the very short term it may save some of the tourist industry, but the numbers are still likely to be low due to the global recession and a reluctance to travel, but in the medium to long term it would be an economic and social disaster that would take decades to recover from, not just years.

    Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are all in the same boat, as are places like Bali to a lesser extent.

    The winner will be the country that can hold its nerve and survive until a vaccine or better tests are found, and that can afford to support those affected until then. Financially, Thailand’s far better placed than anyone else, but whether the leadership can hold their nerve looks unlikely.

    • Avatar

      Kris

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 6:59 am

      John, I know that many countries still closed borders, so can not blame Thailand. Only difference is other countries simply closed and not talking about opening at this stage, some countries like singapore opend to some with catious already, whereas Thailand just making itself fools ( i mean not thais but those in govt departments) , absoloutely dumb contradting statement ,like people speaking different languages at babylon and not understand each other.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:37 pm

        Agreed 100% – as I say, at length, elsewhere!

    • Avatar

      EdwardV

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 7:34 am

      John, I get where you and coming from , and don’t really disagree. That said it appears Thailand doesn’t as there are reports (Bloomberg) that Thailand has agreed to open a tourist bubble with China. Of course that does away with any quarantine. That rational is the Chinese only do two week trips so to get their sweet sweet tourist money Thailand will not require any quarantine at all. Says other SE Asian countries will follow. Testing and tracking only. The flood gates to open in two weeks

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 8:17 am

        Sorry it’s two months not two week. That’s what I get for posting from memory. My bad. The travel bubble expected to open in January to catch in time to save the second half of the high season.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm

        As discussed elsewhere, opening to China makes absolute sense for everybody.

        Very low risk, as close to guaranteed testing and tracking before departure and after arrival as you can get, and vast numbers.

        I’d prefer to wait as I think the risks are still too high, but it makes sense.

        • Avatar

          EdwardV

          Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 11:11 pm

          You mean except for the fact you have been arguing about the absolute need to keep the 14 day quarantine with no exception for weeks now. So much so you even wrote a very good article to that point. However Thailand has cut you off at the knees with its upcoming travel bubble. The idea it’s ok because it’s with China also doesn’t hold water since Thailand will soon be setting them up with other countries. It’s not that I disagree with your original point, its just that events have rendered it obsolete. Hordes of un-quarantined Chinese tourists will soon be mingling with locals. It will be interesting to see what happens next on several issues.

  8. Avatar

    Craig Sharman

    Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 3:52 am

    So… Can someone please make it clear to me,,,, I get confused easily, lol especially by what’s happening in Thailand now. Visa’s, insurance?.
    I’m not rich, a normal hard working bloke.
    I’m married to a Thai, have a child together, I have marriage papers etc.
    So, what is needed for me to get there?, or is it impossible? Thanks in advance.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 3:54 pm

      Money.

  9. Avatar

    Ben

    Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 12:45 am

    The Thai’s want certainty in a world of uncertainty. They’ve chosen for now to have 80% of their economy running and keep the virus out similar to most, if not all, countries in the region. They’re trying to figure out how to open up safely and finding safety and making it seamless for visitors don’t mix easily and they’re getting lots of criticism for it. I applaud them for at least trying to figure it out.

    Over time the economic pain will loosen their need for absolute certainty. At the same time additional tools such as vaccines, anti-viral treatments, more accurate tests, etc. will be developed and help the them, and the rest of the world, move towards a new normal. Thailand will suffer economic damage and re-emerge just like the rest of the world. It just won’t happen in 2020.

    For those that think Thailand will lose tourists because of their approach, they’re wrong plain and simple. 3 years from now they’ll have more tourists than ever as the things that make it a tourist mecca will not disappear. For those that decide not to go, they’ll be many happy to take their place.

  10. Avatar

    Jason

    Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 6:52 am

    The WHO has just given approval for a rapid Covid test that gives a result in 15-30 minutes with the same accuracy as a PCR Test. Produce the test kits or get them on order. There exists now a reliable and rapid test for Covid. Use it at airports of entry. Test positive = go into quarantine. Test negative = enjoy your holiday. So there is really no excuse the Thai Government now has to kill off the kingdom’s tourism industry. Rapid testing is the answer. A vaccine could be years away and no country has that long to wait.

    • Avatar

      Ben

      Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 10:22 am

      From Harvard Health Publishing (Harvard Medical School) regarding PCR tests:

      “Results may also be affected by the timing of the test. For example, if you are tested on the day you were infected, your test result is almost guaranteed to come back negative, because there are not yet enough viral particles in your nose or saliva to detect. The chance of getting a false negative test result decreases if you are tested a few days after you were infected, or a few days after you develop symptoms.”

      Many returning to Thailand have tested negative before and after arrival and then tested positive during the quarantine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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)

Sunday Covid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths

Tim Newton

Published

on

For Sunday the public health department have announced 2,302 new infections and 24 Covid-related deaths over the past 24 hours. There’s now been a total of 101,447 infections and 589 deaths since the start of Thailand’s tally on January 18, 2020. More than 64,000 are registered as ‘recovered’.

• Starting Monday, restaurants in Bangkok, Nonthaburi (immediately north of Bangkok), Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan (south east of Bangkok) will be allowed to offer dine-in services at 25% of seating capacity until 9pm.

Restaurants in other 17 Red Zone provinces will be allowed to stay open until 11pm without seating limitations. Restaurants in the other Orange Zone provinces will be allowed to resume “normal operations”, though alcoholic beverages may not be served anywhere across the country. In the Red Zones, schools can open as normal with permission from local and provincial authorities. In the Orange Zone schools can open without permission but under the latest rules.

• The Office of the PM has dismissed as false online rumours that Her Majesty the Queen was infected with Covid-19.

The office urged people to monitor Covid-19 news from a reliable channel, such as the Facebook page of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

• Chonburi and Chiang Mai are being removed rom the dark red zone, or maximum control area, due to an improvement in the Covid situation in those 2 areas.

“If this proposal is approved by the prime minister, there would only be 4 provinces designated as dark red zone, namely Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan.”

Chonburi, with only 33 new infections yesterday, will be moved to the orange zone, or medium control area, joining 16 other provinces… Kanchanaburi, Chachoengsao, Tak, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Ayutthaya, Phetchaburi, Yala, Ranong, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon, Songkhla and Surat Thani.

Phuket was also downgraded into the Orange Zone.

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 mask violators in Phuket forced to exercise

Neill Fronde

Published

on

PHOTO: Pushups instead of a 6,000 baht fine at a Phuket checkpoint yesterday. (via video screenshot)

For those who have more pounds on their body than pounds in their pocket, exercise punishment seen in Phuket yesterday for mask violators may or may not be welcome. Officials have walked back the strict 6,000 baht punishment for the first warning against someone not wearing a mask and were spotted forcing those who have gone out without a mask to do exercise on the street.

The people forced to exercise were at a Covid-19 checkpoint in the Rawai subdistrict, where the Chalong Police along with local medical workers were checking people yesterday. The checkpoint was set up in an effort to push one hundred per cent mask compliance to stop the spread of Covid-19 on Phuket.

Not only were they checking everyone who passed by to make sure they had their masks, but also to correct those who were wearing their masks improperly. We’ve all seen the people who seem to think that a mask on their chin or underneath their nose is somehow just as effective as a properly worn mask, or at least that they can get away with “wearing a mask” while limiting their personal inconvenience.

Officials were quick to point out that the overwhelming majority of people passing through the checkpoint, both foreigners and Thai, did have their masks with them and were wearing them properly. But they did catch more than 10 people not wearing their face mask or not using them correctly.

Authorities decided to let them off with a first soft warning by moving bodies instead of moving baht. Police made violators do exercise right there on the street in hopes of shaming them into making better decisions next time. All violators did have their names and details taken down with a promise that if they were caught again proper traditional fines would be handed down.

No word yet on any plans to make this punishment into a Tik-Tok Channel.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

1,000 to 6,000-patient field hospital opened at IMPACT complex

Neill Fronde

Published

on

FILE PHOTO: IMPACT exhibition centre has opened a huge field hospital.

IMPACT Muang Thong Thani exhibition centre in Nonthaburi has just opened as a massive field hospital that will be supervised by the Public Health Ministry. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda were all in attendance for the launch yesterday.

Situated in the northern suburb of Bangkok, the huge commercial complex has ample space in a variety of buildings. IMPACT Muang Thong Thani houses on its grounds multiple exhibition halls, a convention centre, and an arena.

Operating under the name Bussarakham Hospital, the huge venues of IMPACT can currently hold 1,092 patients in its initial opening, but if needed there is room to expand to a max capacity of 4000 to 6,000 people. The public and private health sector collaborated to build and maintain the Covid-19 emergency overflow facility.

So-called yellow-coded Covid-19 patients, those who have slight to severe symptoms, will be the primary patients treated at the IMPACT field hospital. Emergency medical equipment like respirators are on hand in the event of a patient’s condition worsening suddenly though. The hospital will employ a total medical staff of 780 people. 260 medical staff members will be on duty at any given time, working 3 shifts divided between the staff.

The IMPACT field hospital was set up in just one week with the help of all the involved partners. The Public Health Minister touted the success of the project, saying that it is set up to care for patients physical and mental needs with comfort.

“Apart from the treatment zone, the hospital also provides a relaxing zone where patients can stay watching movies and exercise under good ventilation all around the area while staying socially distanced.”

Anutin also made a point to reassure area residents that converting IMPACT into a field hospital will not interrupt or negatively affect the local community.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism3 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending