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Thai health officials call for PCR on arrival to be replaced with antigen test

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Phuket International Airport - HKT

Thailand’s Department of Disease Control wants to see PCR tests for foreign arrivals replaced with antigen testing. DDC boss Dr Opas Kankawinpong says his department is submitting the proposal to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

“The department will have a meeting on Thursday to finalise the details of the proposal before presenting it to a CCSA meeting on Friday (April 22). Furthermore, the department will propose an updated colour-coding classification of provinces based on the current Covid-19 situation, so that provincial public health offices can implement disease control measures accordingly.”

The CCSA previously approved a Public Health Ministry proposal to cancel the requirement for a PCR test result within 72 hours of departure for overseas arrivals to the kingdom. The requirement was removed from April 1.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Opas says the number of daily new domestic cases is significantly higher than imported infections. Therefore, he says relaxing some of the Test & Go entry measures is unlikely to have a big impact on Thailand’s Covid caseload.

“As for the expected spike in cases after the Songkran holidays, the department estimates we will see a change in the next 1 or 2 weeks. The DDC will monitor the situation closely and also evaluate it each week regarding the impact of the outbreak on the country’s public health system. If new infections are still within a manageable level, we will gradually ease up disease control measures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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