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Thai health officials investigate South Korean military officer Covid-19 case

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: kaohoon

Thai health officials are trying to determine how the South Korean military officer, who tested positive for Covid-19 after returning home from Thailand’s annual Cobra Gold training, became infected with the virus. So far, it’s a mystery.

Local health authorities investigating the case are asking South Korean authorities for more information about the officers whereabouts to figure where exactly the officer came in contact with the virus, according to the Department of Disease Control’s chief of the epidemiology division, Walairat Chaifoo.

“We have three assumptions that firstly he might have been infected with the disease in his country. He might also have been infected in alternative state quarantine or at the meeting place. We do need to have additional information from South Korea in order to verify those assumptions.”

Here’s the timeline:

October 17: The 32 year old South Korean military officer arrived in Thailand and checked in at an alternative state quarantine (ASQ) hotel in Bangkok.

November 1: The military officer was released from the ASQ after 2 tests came out negative for Covid-19. He checked out and stayed at a hotel for a night in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit area.

November 3: He travelled to Rayong’s Ban Chang district and participated in the Cobra Gold military training exercise.

November 6: He travelled back to Bangkok and stayed at a hotel for 2 nights.

November 8: The military officer departed from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport and landed at the Incheon Airport in South Korea where he tested positive for Covid-19.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry is requiring that those who came in close contact with the infected officer to quarantine for 14 days. Those who participated in Cobra Gold’s 5-day training exercise, but did not come in close contact with the officer are advised to self-quarantine at home and look out for symptoms over the next 2 weeks.

The vast majority of recent Covid-19 cases have been detected in the mandatory 14 day quarantine for those entering the country. Thailand went a record of 100 days without a reported local transmission until September when a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19 after his arrest on drug charges.

The DJ was infected with the G strain of the virus which is a less severe, but more contagious. The G strain is also typically detected in quarantine from those entering Thailand from overseas rather than local transmissions, health officials say. That case is also still a mystery.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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  1. Avatar


    Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    It is not a mystery in a country following a zero-test, zero-cases policy (aside from those who arrive from abroad and are mandated to quarantine, of course). Sars-CoV-2 is circulating throughout all Thailand without knowledge from health officers.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Except that’s RUBBISH as far as Thailand is concerned – it’s simply completely untrue.

      Thailand has never claimed to have “zero-cases” – this is nonsense.

      Thailand has a very effective and very successful policy of targeted testing – 1,000 tests for a single case is nothing unusual.

      There is no evidence whatsoever that “Sars-CoV-2 is circulating throughout all Thailand without knowledge from health officers” and massive evidence that it is NOT. Where are the Covid-related deaths? Where are the 20% of those with Covid-19 who would be symptomatiC if it were? Where are the excess deaths? THERE AREN’T ANY.

  2. Avatar


    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Yes the domestic cases just seem to disappear. Whatever happened with that DJ / drug dealer in BKK?

  3. Avatar


    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    And yet sir, you still have absolutely NO proof at all of con-vid actually existing. 55 😉

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 9:15 pm

      Why would “I” have “proof” that Covid-19 exists, any more than “I” have proof that the moon isn’t made of cheese or the world isn’t flat and carried around the universe by a giant turtle?

      Several million doctors around the world are clearly satisfied that there’s adequate “proof” of Covid-19, so that’s good enough for me.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    … and FWIW he wasn’t here to participate in Cobra Gold, which took place in February / March earlier this year, but was here for a meeting about NEXT YEAR’S Cobra Gold.

    Why that had to be done in person, and why planning is going ahead for an exercise which is obviously not going to happen, is beyond me.

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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.

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