PM will decide on need for lockdown if and when Omicron found in Thailand

PHOTO: Flickr/UN Women Asia and the Pacific

The health ministry says the Thai PM will decide what steps to take if and when the Omicron Covid-19 variant is found in the kingdom. The Bangkok Post reports that the relevant agencies have been instructed to continue monitoring the situation and the Public Health Ministry will review the country’s re-opening in 2 weeks’ time.

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Sathit Pitutecha from the Health Ministry says people shouldn’t panic and that border officials are ramping up surveillance measures to prevent migrants from entering illegally and bypassing health checks. According to Sathit, a lockdown has not been discussed, but the government will continue to monitor developments concerning the new variant.

“The situation will be monitored closely. Measures will be reviewed based on new information coming in. If the Omicron strain is found in Thailand, the country will have to face another lockdown. It is the prime minister’s policy and he will make a quick decision as director of the CCSA.”

Sathit adds that the proposed re-opening of entertainment venues and nightlife could still go ahead on January 16, subject to Omicron not being detected in Thailand. The Bangkok Post reports that he has stressed the ongoing need to adhere to Covid-19 prevention measures, including mask-wearing, regular hand-washing, social distancing, temperature checks, and use of the Thai Chana app.

Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who is currently attending the World Health Assembly in Switzerland, says Thailand is monitoring developments in the race to develop effective vaccines, with Thai scientists also working on new vaccines.

In related news, the emergence of Omicron has prompted the CCSA to backpedal on a plan to replace PCR testing on arrival with antigen test kits. At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, it was decided PCR tests will remain in place for international arrivals.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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