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Thai officials attempt to track down 783 travellers from Africa for Omicron testing

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: PR Bangkok

Officials are attempting to trace 783 travellers who’ve arrived in Thailand from various African countries since November 15. Immigration police are working with the Public Health Ministry, who want to test the arrivals for the Omicron Covid-19 variant, according to a Bangkok Post report.

However, national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk says the public shouldn’t panic, adding that immigration officers and the health ministry are ramping up disease control measures at airports, while border officials are tightening security aimed at preventing illegal migrants from entering.

“Don’t panic. The police are urgently working together with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin from the CCSA says that 333 African travellers have arrived from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe since November 15. Arrivals from those 8 countries are now subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The Bangkok Post reports that 3 of the 333 have already left the country, while 23 have been traced and asked to come forward for a free PCR test. It’s understood there are also over 100 people who arrived from other countries considered high-risk for the Omicron variant. They too are being asked to come forward for testing.

While little is yet known about the new variant, Taweesilp says most symptoms are similar to those of other variants. There has been no confirmation yet that Omicron may be more contagious, nor have there been reports of severe illness with the variant. However, Taweesilp says a number of deaths have been recorded with Omicron. He says being fully inoculated remains the best protection against Covid-19.

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

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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