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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Suvarnabhumi check-in counters become vaccine administration points

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Facebook/Suvarnabhumi Airport

It’s probably the most traffic check-in counters at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport has seen in a while. Officials are using the area as a makeshift vaccination centre, where airport staff are lining up to receive a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The initiative is the latest attempt to speed up vaccine administration as Thailand finds itself battling a far more virulent third wave of the virus.

Airport staff, including immigration officials and airline employees, can register for inoculation at one of the converted check-in counters, with officials expecting to vaccinate around 1,000 people a day. CTV News says the airport’s vaccination drive means Suvarnabhumi is humming with more activity than it has seen over the last year, after the pandemic abruptly halted international travel and passenger numbers plummeted.

In pre-Covid days, Thailand received nearly 40 million tourists during 2019, with most arriving at Suvarnabhumi. Last month, just 6,737 visitors arrived in the Kingdom. One airport worker, Siwaporn Singkhrut, says the vaccination service at the airport could easily be expanded to cover other members of the public, given the amount of space available.

“Now, only a portion of the airport is in operation, and it would be even better if it were to fully open to the public so people can come and get vaccinated.”

A cluster of infections that first took hold in the fashionable Thong Lor district of Bangkok has now sparked a serious third way of the virus, which has spread rapidly across the country. Infections have doubled since the beginning of this month, with the number of deaths also increasing. There are fears that the country’s health service will be unable to cope if the numbers keep rising, but officials are resisting calls for a lockdown, given the devastating economic implications. The government has also come in for harsh criticism over the slow pace of the national vaccine rollout and the limited number of doses available.

SOURCE: CTV News

 

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