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Thailand considers suspending visa-on-arrival for Chinese

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Thai Health Minister Anuthin Charnvirakul talks to reporters - TNA

The Cabinet committee responsible for “preventing emerging diseases” will meet today to roll out various measures in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak affecting the region, according to Thai Public Health Minister Anuthin Charnvirakul.

One proposed measure is the temporary suspension of visa-on-arrival for Chinese nationals, in line with the Chinese ban on outbound group tours.

Anuthin stressed that the government gives priority to the health and safety of the Thai people, and confirmed that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Thailand remains at 14. Six had been discharged from hospital as of yesterday.

All cases in Thailand are linked to infections in Wuhan. No Thai nationals in Wuhan are infected as of today. When the virus was first detected in Thailand, patients were immediately placed under medical surveillance and their relatives and fellow travellers also tested to prevent the spread of the disease.

From January 3-29, there were 202 suspected novel coronavirus cases in Thailand. Of that number, 135 remain in hospital and 67 cases have been released. Most of those released only had seasonal flu.

Yet yesterday alone, there were 44 new cases the virus under investigation. The new cases include two taxi drivers, who allegedly picked up Chinese tourists Tuesday. The director-general of the Department of Disease Control has announced that their conditions are mild and the possibility of their developing coronavirus so quickly is remote.

SOURCE: Thai News Agency

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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