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Thailand threw a tourism party. No one arrived.

The Thaiger

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Thailand threw a tourism party. No one arrived. | The Thaiger

OPINION

The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating, itself of the coronavirus.

They floated the Phuket Model – a chance to visit Phuket and do your mandatory quarantine in a luxury hotel with walks along the almost deserted beaches. But Phuket’s locals didn’t like that idea. It was floated again just before the annual Vegetarian Festival on the island, because piercing yourself with sharp objects and wandering around the streets in big groups isn’t dangerous, but a few foreign tourists in hotel quarantine is.

Then they came up with the STV – the tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

For the Army generals and public servants who ran the country it was a devastating loss of face. But they had other things to worry about at the time as the Thai youth were revolting, literally. Anti-government protests, whilst modest in size, were inconveniently demanding democracy at the same time as the government was trying to figure out how to attract tourists. They were also targeting, for the first time, the country’s revered monarchy and the man who currently sits on the Thai throne.

Suddently it was high season, the annual onslaught of tourists from the end of November, but popular spots like Phuket, Samui, Krabi, all the other islands, even Chiang Mai, just remained mostly devoid of tourists.

Meanwhile the STV wallowed in its own failure – another failed response to the reboot of Thai tourism.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to travel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist-strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find some other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands more of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

The industry players wanted action, changes and some sort of stimulus to bring back the tourists. For a country that relied on up to 20% for its GDP, getting the tourists and travellers back was THE only thing on their mind. 2019’s tourism revenue of US$60 billion had vanished from their, and their employee’s, pockets.

But the government wouldn’t relax the quarantine rules and maintained the restrictions and paperwork that has turned off even the keenest Thai-ravellers.

An outbreak of clusters to the south of Bangkok and the nearby eastern coastal provinces since December 20 hasn’t helped. In less than a month Thailand’s number of Covid-19 infections more than doubled. Initially the latest outbreak was tracked down to the illegal import of Burmese migrant workers by greedy seafood businesses wanting cheap labour. Then it spread to eastern provinces – Rayong, Chan Buri, Trat and Chanthaburi – through illegal gambling dens. In both cases the practices were things the local officials turned a blind eye to. The use of cheap, illegal migrant labour and illegal gambling were both popular pursuits but ‘underground’. It was a rude awakening for Thai officials that, this time, the enemy was within.

Street after street in Pattaya is deserted, shops shuttered. Parts of Phuket’s Patong are a ghost town. The island’s ubiquitous tuk tuks, taxis and tourist vans have vanished (where?!). Most of Bangkok is ‘sort of’ back to normal but there are few tourists topping up the retail till or booking rooms in the tens of thousands of hotels. Average occupancy rates, even for the brave hotels that have re-opened their doors, has been less than 30% – bottomline, they’re losing money.

On the upside, if you are living in Thailand, the plane fares remain cheap, hotels have slashed their prices and, for the first time, many renters will consider a discount. The Thai government has been active in stimulating the domestic tourism but apart from circulating the local currency, the country’s tourism industry remains on-hold until the pandemic passes. And that, as we’ve seen, won’t be any time soon.

The world’s travellers, now a much smaller groups than the masses that fuelled the world’s aviation industry in the past few decades, are not heading to Thailand to front up to a 14 day quarantine. They’re going to the Maldives and Costa Rica, and a handful of other resorts who have thrown caution to the wind – some with greater success than others. Just about every survey indicates that tourists, even business travellers, are not willing to stare down 14 days couped up in a 20-30 square metre hotel room. For many of the hotels that rushed to be registered as ASQ (Alternative State Quarantine) facilities, many have dropped out, some of them are now closed.

The stakes are now really high for Thailand and its tourism industry. The government, despite demands, is refusing to reduce the quarantine time or lessen the long list of restrictions and paperwork. The country has now lost it’s glossy veneer as the ‘safe country to visit’ and the annual high season will be coming to a close in a month or so.

Chinese New Year and the annual flood of Chinese visitors to Thailand? Won’t be happening in 2021, the Chinese year of the Ox.

The other ‘elephant in the room’ was the high value of the Thai baht against the currencies of some of the traditional feeder markets. Whilst the Thai baht has been relatively steadfast, many of these currencies have dropped in value against the THB. The perception was that Thailand as becoming too expensive to travel. But 2019 was still the biggest year for tourism on record, despite this often-wheeled out prediction of a tourism apocalypse.

The only hope on the horizon is the vaccine, or vaccines. The early global roll out is just that, early. It will take 6 – 12 months to see if the hard work of the world’s medical and scientific community will be the great saviour. Certainly, a risk-averse Thailand will be limiting any tourism in the immediate future to vaccinated customers. only, and (as stated policy) they will still have to do the 14 day mandatory quarantine, at least in the short-to medium term. Same with the world’s airlines. So Thailand’s tourism woes, especially in the hotspots – Pattaya, Phuket, the islands, Chiang Mai and Bangkok – will reverberate throughout 2021 as well.

Thailand’s economy contracted 6% in 2020 but some economists are predicting a positive turn-around to a 3.5 – 4.5% improvement in 2021. Even the ever-optimistic Thai Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, says that there will be 10 million arrivals in 2021. The actual numbers, even in the best of circumstances, will fall well below that prediction. Exactly where the tourists would come from, under the current circumstances and a global depression, is difficult to imagine.

In 2020 the buzz word in the tourism industry was ‘closure’. In 2021 it will be ‘management’.

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86 Comments

86 Comments

  1. Avatar

    J West

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:08 am

    It’s getting worse not better. Internationally the virus is spreading like wildfire. Idiot-led governments like Canada ( just one of many idiot countries) have allowed in plane loads of sick , mostly fleeing their own countries escalating death rate, to kill tens of thousands. 16000 dead in a small country, shocking. Europe is worse. Tourist associations want to put on a brave face. Try fitting a ventilator hose down your throat today and tell me to throw caution to the wind.

    Thailand has to be cautious. We don’t need to conform to any hotel associations greedy desperation. 16000 dead in Canada, think about it. A third wave deadlier than any other has frightened people trying to escape….. Keep Thailand contained. Keep the disease out as much as possible.

    • Avatar

      James

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:32 am

      Drop the quarantine for all vaccinated passengers.reduce the quarantine from 14 to 7 days for non vaccinated.simple

      • Avatar

        as

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

        The reason for the 14 day quarantine is that is the timeframe needed to effectively test that the person if negative from possible infection during transit.

        Shortening the 14 days down to 7 means a greatly increased risk of infected visitors being set free into the general population.

        There is a scientific and evidenced based rationale for determining the number of days needed for quarantine. Learn more before you form and broadcast your opinions.

        • Avatar

          Jack Sombra

          Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 6:08 pm

          “Shortening the 14 days down to 7 means a greatly increased risk of infected visitors”

          14 to 10 day, 0.1% increase according to thai governments own estimate. For negarive test at 7 days is about 5% according to US CDC. None of those are “greatly increased risk”

          Problem is people like you thinking your own uneducated, unresearched guesses are facts and presenting then as such and other people believing them because dont look into them and creating unfounded fear.

      • Avatar

        Andy W

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 8:30 pm

        It’s not 14 days. It’s 15 nights, so 16 days.
        That’s despite everyone getting tested on ‘day 12’ (really day 13) and getting the result that day or early the day after, but then having to endure another few nights knowing they’re leaving OK…
        So it wouldn’t be a problem knocking it down to 13 nights, but they won’t even consider that.
        Hopefully they’re researching the length of time a vaccinated person can be a carrier, but i doubt they’ll act on the result quickly enough, like most actions of the Thai Authorities.

    • Avatar

      Wayno

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Easy to say when you have a pocket full of cash. Tell that to the millions of hand to mouth Thais that rely on tourists to live.

    • Avatar

      Rip255

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:41 am

      Good piece.

      Tourism will be back though. The vaccines are rolling out.

      Thais are resilient. Within 6 months of opening up, it will be like nothing changed.

      OECD are sitting on record levels of household savings. Theres a wall of cash that is waiting to be spent.

      Personally, Im strongly considering Thailand as a place to invest my money in the next 12 months.

      As Warren Buffet says, be bold when everyone is cautious and be cautious when everyone else is bold.

      • Avatar

        Andy

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:56 pm

        Rip 255 with your optimism. Yeah bring your money to Thailand, they need it desperately.

      • Avatar

        Stephen Westrip

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 9:27 pm

        @RIP255 When you say ‘like nothing has changed’ you have seen all the businesses that have already closed their doors for good? That seems like change to me!

        • Avatar

          Rip255

          Monday, January 18, 2021 at 9:52 am

          One mans loss is another mans gain. The tourists are coming back. Thats as certain as death and taxes.

          Going to be a lot of cut-price assets waiting to be snapped up by those who aren’t cowering in fear.

          This forum is full of doomsayers, anti vaxxers and cowards.

          I’m still young, have managed my money well and know a good buying opportunity when I see one.

      • Avatar

        Mel Burn

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2:19 am

        Go ahead. Invest in Thailand. Then another virus will come along and you’ll be cut off from your money – no visa for you, sorry. No residentship for your investment. Buffett is talking about good companies, not something that depends on a whim of some person(s).

    • Avatar

      FleurD

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 7:33 pm

      Exactly. But actually, the main reason tourists have not come back is because in most wealthy countries PEOPLE ARE STILL NOT ALLOWED TO TRAVEL.
      Most tourists cannot afford the cost of the quarantine restrictions or the costs of PCR tests — approx £300.00 per test in the UK, for example. If the Thai government has made a mistake, it’s that assuming that the numbers of luxury tourists would make up for these problems. In reality, few can afford the costs of luxury hotels, let alone quarantine on top. Also, most employers only allow people to travel for two weeks. That makes Thailand a long way to fly.

      • Avatar

        Mel Burn

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2:21 am

        People _are_ allowed to travel. But _tourists_ will not go for a quarantine – they are tourists and want to travel. Only people who want to stay long term would be willing to quarantine

    • Avatar

      Manu

      Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      My comment was posted and then taken off. Why (again) therhaiger? You keep doing that, why? Thanks

  2. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:17 am

    It is just too expensive,,,, ?

  3. Avatar

    Brian

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:34 am

    “flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19”. No. If you think that, you’re naive.

    To understand why, look at a map of this region. To the east, to the west, thousands of kilometers of jungle borders with countries that are much poorer than this one. Sometimes, crossing over into another country is a matter of crossing a river that someone could swim across. There’s also probably around a thousand km of ocean border. The golden triangle is at the northernmost tip of the country.

    The Thai government did not contain COVID-19. Most likely, no force on earth could prevent it from crossing into or out of Thailand. Rather, what seems to be the case is that people in this part of the world enjoy some preexisting level of immunity to this disease, perhaps from contact with bats.

  4. Avatar

    Kristof

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:37 am

    This is simply the reality of the situation. I actually salute the Thai govt for trying, but international failures to manage the pandemic have made travel unrealistic regardless. With the majority of nations not able to control the virus, the only options for Thailand are to open & risk becoming like those nations or stay closed and temporarily sacrifice their tourism sector for the greater good of the rest of the economy. Perhaps best strategy aid the tourism sector enough to sustain themselves to a safe time for reopening while keeping preventive measures in place that allow the best possible functioning of the rest of the economy. Maintain as unified a national response as possible and hope for an effective vaccination program to allow successful return to normal.

    • Avatar

      barry

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Exactly Kristof –
      As a counter-example, look at Indonesia today (I posted on this below – and just found out that the national Covid-19 positivity rates are now bordering 27%, not 25% as I’d posted…).

      There is no easy way, and the conservative Thai approach, as difficult as it is for the tourism sector, will bear fruit on the long-term by allowing a quicker recovery.

    • Avatar

      FleurD

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 7:41 pm

      Yes. … Also, tourists will definitely come back to Thailand, eventually, if Covid is contained elsewhere. It has a lot to offer still. This could be a couple of years away, unfortunately, when enough people have been vaccinated and travel bans in source countries (everywhere from the UK to Australia, NZ, and many other places) are removed.

  5. Avatar

    barry

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Just look at Indonesia now…

    Unlike Thailand, Indonesia did not officially open up to tourism, but allowed tourists back in through “business visas” scheme, fly in, no quarantine, just a vague injunction to self-isolate on arrival.

    There were never any form of strict lockdowns.

    As a result, a lot of people went to Bali, including some (Eastern-European markets for instance) who would have gone to Phuket or similar in normal times.
    The Indonesian government also boosted domestic tourism, allowing domestic tourists to fly in fron Javanese-hotspots…

    The result, unfortunately, is that Indonesia is now on a steep downwards slope, remaining the highest hit-country in Asia, and breaking daily records.

    They had to ban all foreign arrivals (except for KITAS work permits), and extended the current ban until January 28.

    And introduced a 5 day quarantine in Jakarta hotels, at 5M IDR per day + tests, a month or so ago…

    The situation is pretty much out of control now, 25% national positivy rates, saturated hospitals and deaths on the increase, yes, even in a country that has such a young and sturdy population.

    Thailand is doing a good job at protecting it’s population, and this will most likely allow for a quicker restart of what is left of the tourism sector.

    At the moment, quarantine is the only way to go if you want to open to tourism, unless you’re operating in a specific context of privately-run physical isolation such as resort-islands or cruises in the Maldives…

    As much as I love Indonesia, I think the Thai approach definitely makes more sense in the current context, especially when looking at things on a longer-term perspective.
    It is a tough decision, with immediate consequences, but will bear fruit on the long run.

    • Avatar

      RA

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      Not sure where you got your 25% Indonesian infection rate. However, it’s actually 0.33% (a third of a percent).

      • Avatar

        barry

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:48 pm

        It’s actually a 27% national positivy rate as of January 17, unfortunately…

        To answer your question, this data comes from public government sources.

        I can’t post links, but the main governmental sources you can check to confirm are the BNPB ( Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management) and the government run kawal covid19 for instance.

        To quote the January 17 governmental data roundup, as given on kawal covid 19:

        [ Rata-rata harian tes dalam 7 hari terakhir:
        – Spesimen: 61.817
        – Orang yang diperiksa: 41.162
        – Kasus positif: 11.179 (tingkat positivitas 27,16%) ]

        Here’s a Google-translation to English:

        [ Average daily tests in the last 7 days:
        – Specimens: 61,817
        – People examined: 41,162
        – Positive cases: 11,179 (positivity level 27.16%) ]

        So yes, the national positivy rate, as given by Indonesian governmental sources, is now 27%.

        Again, this is the positivity rate, by your numbers I’m guess that you were probably calculating something else.
        I do believe, in line with these governmental sources, that the positivity rate, as calculated above, is more relevant in this case.
        And yes, it is very high….

        Here’s an extract from Jackie Pomeroy’s daily data roundup / translation, which you can easily access – again all this data is sourced from public government sources ( check Bali Covid-19 Update for more info on the methodology used and links to the governmental sources that I can’t post here) – in this case the data is coming from the BNPB:

        [· Yesterday’s national data (source: BNPB).
        The count of new cases for all of Indonesia was 14,224 bringing the cumulative total to 896,642 with 727,358 (+8,662) recoveries, and 25,767 (+283) deaths.

        The number of active cases stands at 143,517 (+5,279). DKI Jakarta led with 3,536 new cases, followed by Jawa Barat (3,460), Jawa Tengah (1,997), Jawa Timur (1,160), Sulawesi Selatan (659), Kalimantan Timur (570), Bali (319), DI Yogyakarta (302), Banten (257), Kalimantan Utara (191), Sumatera Barat (182), Sulawesi Utara (179), Nusa Tenggara Timur (118), Lampung (114), Kalimantan Selatan (108).]

        • Avatar

          RA

          Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

          I understand that your numbers are based on those tested. Mine are based on population. Most countries are doing reactionary testing vs. general testing. You’ll never get true numbers if it’s just a reaction to a localized infection which will always be high.

          • Avatar

            barry

            Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 2:44 pm

            I’d say that given the current testing situation in Indonesia, I believe the national positivity rate number is actually way more revelant in giving the pulse of the current situation than simply looking at positives/total population

            If you look into it, national positivy rate has been going up a lot lately, whereas the scope of testing has not.
            This shows that the infection rate is going up, regardless of testing, and this important. This is also reflected in a rise of the death toll, and Covid-19 related hospital saturation.

            (sorry for the multiple posts, answer took a while to be validated so I edited it to see if something was blocking the publication)

        • Avatar

          Joe

          Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:29 pm

          Barry is actually Issan John in disguise, he knows everything and he is always right.

          • Avatar

            barry

            Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:52 pm

            Far from it – I do make a point to recognise when I’m in the wrong.

            In this case, I was simply asked to justify where the numbers I was giving came from, which I did, and also explained why I believed those numbers are truly significant (which is why I had posted them in in the first place, as an illustration to the point I was making)

            I don’t “know everything”, whatever that means, nor do I claim to be always right (in most of these types of discussions there is rarely a real right or wrong anyway, though many pretend there is, it is, in my opinion more of a question of reading grids and perspective)
            – but in this case I wasn’t making an argument just for the sake of it, and yes, I can back the information I’m presenting.

            Does this clear things up?

            If you want to know more about me, I would be back to working in Indonesia by now if it were not for the current pandemic, which is why I follow the Indonesian situation closely, as you might have seen.

            I have chosen to remain in Thailand, where I was working, for the time being to see how things evolve, but will definitely leave in the coming months.

            So yes, I certainly do currently have a little too much time on my hands, like many others here, but you will see me vanish from the Thaiger’s comment sections as I fly away from the Land of Smiles, if this can maybe give you something to look forward to.

            But if you want to call me Karangasem John until them, be my guest Joe 😉

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:31 pm

            Actually he’s not, as Barry’s very wrong here.

            As RA rightly said, you can’t use “reactionary testing” (what most call “targeted testing”) as an indicator of nationwide infection rates.

            That’s simply not what it’s for and the reason why should be blindingly obvious – it’s like going into a cancer ward and concluding that the whole country’s dying of cancer when although some are and some aren’t the cancer ward’s hardly representative of the general population.

          • Avatar

            Correct

            Monday, January 18, 2021 at 1:29 am

            yes, and that is actually an old north European aunt, with no family, never married, no kids, (but with 3 cats) who never saw any other sea but Baltic

          • Avatar

            Andrzej

            Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:49 pm

            ….he knows everything and he is always right. Agree with you 100%. IJ is never wrong, he’s a genius on thethaiger. commenting day and night, 24/7. Pity him.

          • Avatar

            Of course she is

            Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 11:25 pm

            yes, and its actually an old lady with zero family and friends from the coldest north of Europe. Never been to Asia, naturally

      • Avatar

        barry

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:50 pm

        It’s actually a 27% national positivy rate as of January 17, unfortunately…

        To answer your question, this data comes from public government sources.

        I can’t post links, but the main governmental sources you can check to confirm what I’m quoting are the BNPB ( Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management) and the government run kawal covid19 website, for instance.

        To quote the January 17 governmental data roundup, as given on kawal covid 19:

        [ Rata-rata harian tes dalam 7 hari terakhir:
        – Spesimen: 61.817
        – Orang yang diperiksa: 41.162
        – Kasus positif: 11.179 (tingkat positivitas 27,16%) ]

        Here’s a Google-translation to English:

        [ Average daily tests in the last 7 days:
        – Specimens: 61,817
        – People examined: 41,162
        – Positive cases: 11,179 (positivity level 27.16%) ]

        So yes, the national positivy rate, as given by Indonesian governmental sources, is now 27%.

        Again, this is the national positivity rate, based on testing – by your numbers I’m guess that you were probably calculating something else.

        I do believe, in line with these governmental sources, that the positivity rate, as calculated above, is more relevant in this case.

        And yes, it is very high at the moment….

        Here’s an extract from Jackie Pomeroy’s daily data roundup / translation, which you can easily access.

        Again all this data is sourced from public government sources ( check Bali Covid-19 Update for more info on the methodology used and actual links to the governmental sources that I can’t post here) – in this case the data is coming directly from the daily BNPB update:

        [· Yesterday’s national data (source: BNPB).
        The count of new cases for all of Indonesia was 14,224 bringing the cumulative total to 896,642 with 727,358 (+8,662) recoveries, and 25,767 (+283) deaths.

        The number of active cases stands at 143,517 (+5,279). DKI Jakarta led with 3,536 new cases, followed by Jawa Barat (3,460), Jawa Tengah (1,997), Jawa Timur (1,160), Sulawesi Selatan (659), Kalimantan Timur (570), Bali (319), DI Yogyakarta (302), Banten (257), Kalimantan Utara (191), Sumatera Barat (182), Sulawesi Utara (179), Nusa Tenggara Timur (118), Lampung (114), Kalimantan Selatan (108).]

        Hope this helps.
        Out of control at the moment, unfortunately, and they’re also paying the price of the Christmas / New-Year’s gathering in touristy areas as well.

      • Avatar

        barry

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:53 pm

        It’s actually a 27% national positivy rate as of January 17, unfortunately…

        To answer your question, this data comes from public government sources.

        I can’t post links here, but the main governmental sources you can check to confirm what I’m quoting are the BNPB ( Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management) and the government run kawal covid19 website, that you can google for instance.

        To quote the January 17 governmental data roundup, as given on kawal covid 19:

        [ Rata-rata harian tes dalam 7 hari terakhir:
        – Spesimen: 61.817
        – Orang yang diperiksa: 41.162
        – Kasus positif: 11.179 (tingkat positivitas 27,16%) ]

        Here’s a Google-translation to English:

        [ Average daily tests in the last 7 days:
        – Specimens: 61,817
        – People examined: 41,162
        – Positive cases: 11,179 (positivity level 27.16%) ]

        So yes, the national positivy rate, as given by Indonesian governmental sources, is now 27%.

        Again, this is the national positivity rate, based on testing – by your numbers I’m guess that you were probably calculating something else.

        I do believe, in line with these governmental sources, that the positivity rate, as calculated above, is more relevant in this case.

        And yes, it is very high at the moment….

        (this is a shorter version of my post, where I was giving more details, as it’s blocked for some reason)

        • Avatar

          Michael BKK

          Monday, January 18, 2021 at 3:19 am

          Are you a parrot ? Baz ?

    • Avatar

      Thomas

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 4:35 pm

      Smart man on forums notablely that stupid TV they feel they must just walk right in and be set free with no ASQ.. DUMB FARANG

    • Avatar

      Leo Z

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 7:03 am

      Thailand at the peak of the outbreak in December was doing 10,000 tests a day, for 3-4 days. If they were doing any serious testing, the numbers might be comparable to Indonesia’s, or at the very least Malaysia’s.

  6. Avatar

    Michael

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:49 am

    This was predicted in advance. By farang 😉

    It would be good to have some foreigners in the Thai government to save them from making the most stupid mistakes.

    • The Thaiger

      The Thaiger

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:10 am

      How many foreigners in the government of your home country?

      • Avatar

        Andy W

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:56 am

        Most western countries have a mixed ethnicity in their government. Thailand has a little in thai-chinese and thai-indian but nowhere close.

      • Avatar

        Michael

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:01 pm

        We have several ministers and secretaries of state of foreign origin. And I know several mayors. But I do believe one condition is that they must be naturalized.

      • Avatar

        Andrew

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

        Quite a few in Australia.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:57 pm

          No, sorry, completely untrue.

          Australians not only have to be Australian citizens to be elected to either house, but they can’t hold dual nationality or even be eligible to have dual nationality.

          In 2017 the “Citizenship Seven”, including the Deputy PM, famously had to resign before renouncing a dual citizenship five of the seven didn’t even know they had!

          • Avatar

            Latecomer

            Monday, January 18, 2021 at 3:46 am

            This is a disinformation without a single fact

          • Avatar

            Stuck Alex

            Monday, January 18, 2021 at 9:29 am

            That’s not entirely correct. Members of Parliament are not allowed to hold dual citizenship, bureaucrats who run the various government departments are allowed.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:30 pm

        Well I think there are a few in the UK government, but have not checked.
        Certainly a lot of persons in the UK government were born outside the UK.
        Boris Johnson was.
        However they have to be naturalised before they can become an MP.
        Many countries allow naturalised citizens to be in government.
        However Thailand does allow naturalisation, after certain requirement are met.
        Requirements that are reported to change at the whim of the Thais processing the naturalisation.
        And even then, the naturalise citizen still has many restrictions, such as being barred from the Senate, and other forms of government in Thailand.
        Aren’t they lovable scamps? NO!

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:06 pm

          For once, Toby, you’re right.

          British MPs don’t have to be British, as they can also be from the Commonwealth or from Ireland.

      • Avatar

        KP

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:49 pm

        Always the same approach, Thai’s know what is best for Thailand. Such a chip on the shoulder over a different perspective. As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

      • Avatar

        Greg

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 2:11 pm

        Valid Point!

        • Avatar

          James A Burke

          Monday, January 18, 2021 at 5:53 am

          $50,000 —–$100,000 baht for 2 week stay I feels like Blackmail …I’ve stayed in nice Hotels in Thailand much cheaper

    • Avatar

      Prof. JPD

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      Yes, and chose some of the ignorant guys we do have in our German government. Be assured it would speed up the downfall of Thailand.

  7. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Everyone has said since day one, the 14 day quarantine is deal killer. Every country, or area that has instituted a mandatory quarantine has had the same result. The extra 15 days on the visa, the golf course ASQ, and any other changes or inducements is just lipstick on a pig. I’m not saying Thailand should open, that’s their choice and I’m ok either way. Yes I would love to return, I’m miss Thailand. However, I’m not doing a quarantine. In the mean time I will go to Hawaii again and wait till Thailand is ready.

  8. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:59 am

    The issue is that the current Thai government and the TAT are terrible at marketing.

    They haven’t a clue what the current market is, what the current situation is – regarding Thailand and the world’s travelers. Their ideas are tepid at best; the STV, golf quarantines, Thai singles cruises, all of them are literally brain-dead ideas. They throw out garbage ideas and I would bet haven’t spent one friggin’ baht on any market research, at all.

    If they did, they’d probably realize that their previous models (and idiotic campaigns) weren’t enough to save the tourism industry. It’s done.

    People talk about the “New Normal”, well the new normal, even after the vaccines have mitigated – if they can – the worst of the coronavirus threat, Thailand is no longer the destination it once was.

    There is greater competition, and the shine is off of Thailand’s apple; scams and two-tier pricing and a currency that should be depreciating, not appreciating, make this a less-than-desirable destination

    Rather than waste more money trying to revive a dead industry, the government should be investing in reasonable employment training schemes to move the country’s unemployed into a different set of careers.

    Tourists aren’t coming. Thais need to get used to the idea and do what can be done to save the country by doing something different.

    • Avatar

      FleurD

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 7:37 pm

      Exactly. But actually, the main reason tourists have not come back is because in most wealthy countries PEOPLE ARE STILL NOT ALLOWED TO TRAVEL.
      Most tourists cannot afford the cost of the quarantine restrictions or the costs of PCR tests — approx £300.00 per test in the UK, for example. If the Thai government has made a mistake, it’s that assuming that the numbers of luxury tourists would make up for these problems. In reality, few can afford the costs of luxury hotels, let alone quarantine on top. Also, most employers only allow people to travel for two weeks. That makes Thailand a long way to fly.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:44 pm

      How can you “market” to a market that doesn’t exist?

      Some commenting here come out with the same nonsense as this bizarre opinion piece that the tourists are “going to the Maldives and Costa Rica, and a handful of other resorts who have thrown caution to the wind” instead, BUT IT’S RUBBISH.

      IT’S A COMPLETE FANTASY!

      Look at the actual figures and they’re NOT going there or anywhere else!

      Tourists are not only NOT going there instead of Thailand, but they’re barely going there at all.

  9. Avatar

    TV

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Nice article Thaiger

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      Yes well written, but too forgiving . . .

      • Avatar

        RA

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 9:28 am

        Never follow a compliment with a “but” as it negates the compliment.

  10. Avatar

    Ynwaps

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Everyone is wearing a mask while driving but rarely can you see someone with a helmet. Out of 10 motorcyclist, 9 are going to be driving with a mask and 1 of them will have a helmet and a mask.

    • Avatar

      Frank Leboeuf

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:37 am

      Depends where, really.

      More importantly, a helmet you’ll take off when you get off your bike, and a mask you should ideally put on when getting off, so wearing the mask on the bike saves the hassle of taking it off and putting it on again, which is why people just wear it.

      Otherwise a helmet protects the wearer, whereas mask wearing protect others, so in a way it’s not really symmetrical, even if both are legally required.

  11. Avatar

    Sad Tourist

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:54 am

    sad but true. thanks for theses words.

  12. Avatar

    Maag

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:55 am

    Lord Budha and our prime minister will save us ….everything is under control !
    2D

  13. Avatar

    Andy W

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    If they had not stupidly excluded some countries from the STV then there would have been more using it.
    I couldn’t get an STV but could get a TRV. So I arrange stuff at home for 2-3 months away instead of 9 months away.
    Then a month later they changed the STV rules. Too late.
    As for vaccines, they need to investigate how long a vaccinated person can be a carrier and reduce quarantine if possible to match, but there won’t be a sudden rush to visit empty cities at expensive prices.

  14. Avatar

    Peter

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Thailand thought they could avoid the virus, now they realise they can’t but only problem is the f1ckwits hadn’t bothered ordering any vaccine.
    Then come along a number of more contagious variants and bingo, perfect storm. Borders closed, large part of the economy shutdown but no vaccine for it’s citizens.
    Closing borders didn’t do the US any good by the way.
    UK up to 3.6 million vaccinated yesterday. NHS scaling up by the day. Over 50s to get a jab by end of March.
    Thailand? Borders closed. Tourism destroyed. Feckless peasantry scared witless. Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui boarded up. Scrambling round to get hold of vaccines because everyone else is in front of them in the queue.
    India and Indonesia have started mass vaccination campaigns over the weekend.
    Even the expat failures on this board must realise that containment of this virus is not going to work and vaccination is the only way out.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      I like that line Peter. Feckless peasantry scared witless.
      It could be turned around and be just as relevant: Witless government scared feckless.
      Feckless and witless are good words to describe many matters in Thailand.

  15. Avatar

    Maestro

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Very good article @Thaiger

    • Avatar

      Matteo Caraccia

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 12:40 am

      I am writing you to Mexico.
      On the sunny beaches of Puerto Vallarta life goes on almost normally, with face masks indoor, lots of hand sanitizer and an efficient contact tracing app. The outdoor lifestyle is predictably healthy and sterile.
      I, an avid reader of local news, keep reading of zero cases in our beach community.

      But my home is in Koh Phangan, and I need to go back to it. I have been waiting for a relaxation on quarantine. This hasn’t materialized, so I turned to the Thai consulate, when I have been hit by the usual brutal, Kafkaesque attitude.
      Suddenly, amont The reams oF paperwork, I am being asked for a penal certificate for STV and O visas. From my country of residence, which is the UK, and where most offices are shut. In fact, I don’t think this certificate even exists outside the UK criminal system.

      Calling the consulate for clarifications, results in long phone queues and an abusive, non-committal responses, of the sort that is familiar to us expats.

      After days of work, I still don’t know if I will be allowed home, even with as.

      • Avatar

        Mister Stretch

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 8:32 am

        Penal certificate?

        Most likely they mean a Criminal Background Check. You can find out how to do this by visiting the UK government’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website.

  16. Avatar

    Joe

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    This government is already implementing very good measures for the anticipated tourist onslaught,like charging them 300 baht for insurance just to give the market a little boost.

  17. Avatar

    Eska

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    “Thai youth were revolting, literally. Anti-government protests, whilst modest in size, were inconveniently demanding democracy at the same time as the government was trying to figure out how to attract tourists. They were also targeting, for the first time, the country’s revered monarchy and the man who currently sits on the Thai throne.”

    I believe this part is very important and underrated. Part of tourists from democratic countries don’t want to travel in a dictatorship country for their holidays. I’m French and you know what we did to our last king and his government…

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:17 pm

      Apart from when the problems in Bangkok were at their height with what was seen by some to be approaching civil war, having a government that didn’t even bother pretending to be elected didn’t stop anyone before, Eska.

  18. Avatar

    Solaris

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    My take: the generals and their cronies are doing it on purpose. For some bizarre, racist-motivated xenophobic reasons they decided to cut off the nose to spite the face and are intentionally destroying Thailand`s tourism industry, using the pandemic as an excuse (that they are damaging their own country`s economy in the process is the least of their concerns). Add to this the endemic incompetence and corruption of the Thai officials, and you will get a daunting vision of Thailand drifting toward somewhere akin to Myanmar with a tint of North Korea.

  19. Avatar

    Ray

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    It is overly optimistic when expecting that vaccinated travelers coming for a holiday, will accept and pay for a quarantine. That is not going to happen.

  20. Avatar

    pascal

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    right….i don t know you but me when i clean my home nobody get in till it is shiny. expecting tourist accepting 14 days quarantine was the most stupid thing i ever read. most of peoples working may have something as 20 days off a years, well do the math calculation is simple.
    Australia travel ban, no one get out no one get in excepted repatriation flight, only imported case are raising up, community transmission are linked to an imported case, when cluster is discover the lock down is the first thing happening and it does work.god dam it all countries should be closed till the bugs is eradicated but noooooooo of course not let keep peoples travelling as in europe let s spray this crap.all government wait for the vaccine to do the job …………. what if it does not?
    few days ago i ve read here i think if thai government does nothing it will be 8000 case each 24 hours …….. well it seems the trend take this direction bit by bit.

  21. Avatar

    Stephen Westrip

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Until Thailand remove the 14-day ASQ the number of visitors will be limited. Most travellers would accept that the vaccine will be a necessity and probably health insurance too but the 14-day ASQ will always be a barrier.

  22. Avatar

    Paul Revere

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    From my perspective Thailand isn’t interested in tourists. Retired and financially secure, I applied for the STV twice. Last application was a month ago and all I got was a “yeah, thanks we’ll let you know when we start processing your request.”
    I’m healthy, have plenty of time and money to throw around in Thailand but they couldn’t care less.

  23. Avatar

    Eman

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Everybody concerned about money instead of lives, yes the two are linked but given the choice i would take life but thats just me. I come from New Zealand where we learnt very early on transmission comes from leaky borders, asking people to self isolate is a waste of time, we have had cases that show positive results after 12 days and go on to infect communitys which then have to shut down and isolate. The 14 day quarantine on the border is the right thing to do as far as air travel and the majority of tourism will be affected, however a country that is not an island has to have total border control without corruption and holding a thermometer to an asymptotic persons head is not going to cut it. Vaccine or not covid is here to stay, greed and tin foil wearers will make sure of that, there will be no return to previous times, the world will have to adjust to the new normal in the same way that covid will adjust to the vaccine, as it has shown already.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 11:08 am

      New Zealand?

      What can you possibly know about controlling and containing the virus?

      Or Thailand?

      Look at the UK and the US, they’re the experts, they’ve had all the practice!

      The UK’s kept it’s borders open until now, and even now you can fly in via Ireland without quarantine, and it’s only self-quarantine so unchecked anyway and that’s worked perfectly well so far

      … hasn’t it? Oh … 🙁

  24. Avatar

    James R

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    I could go into detail but there is no point.

    Thailand can come up with whatever plan it wants, give away free holidays if they have to but the truth is 99% of people in the the world do not want to travel, they want to stay home, take care of their families and help solve this problem by doing the right thing.

    Even the UK has lost 10% of its GDP because of tourism, it is a loss of $140 billion a year but we just like every other country in the world have to accept it, there is nothing to be done except to defeat this virus.

    As far as I can see talking to Thais who do not live in the few tourist areas in Thailand, the lack of tourism is not even noticed in their day to day lives.

    • Avatar

      Chiang mai Condo

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 3:01 pm

      correct. If u r not in the tourist areas, no much has changed.

  25. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    When making your “take”, Solaris, didn’t you consider that the vast majority of Thais outside the tourist sector (which IS the vast majority of Thais) very clearly DON’T want the borders open yet and DON’T want tourists here yet?

    That despite all the “Thai youth were revolting, literally. Anti-government protests …” etc, protesting about everything from the role of the monarchy to LGBT rights and school uniforms, there have been NO protests about wanting tourists back, even in Pattaya and Phuket – NONE?

    … probably not, and to be fair that obviously never crossed the author of this opinion piece’s rather narrow mind either.

  26. Avatar

    James Pate

    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 4:29 am

    A good read. Enjoyed it. ?

  27. Avatar

    peter allen

    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 8:43 am

    the average tourist has a holiday of 14 days or less and pay less for a package deal that includes airfares, transfers, breakfast and accommodating than it costs to stay in a quarantine hotel for 14 days locked up
    Aussie internal tourist business are booming at present

  28. Avatar

    Chiang Mai Condo

    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    Great summary. The Thai Govt needs to be strict. I think they have made wise decisions; without too much experience in this kind of health crisis. The obedient thai people have helped with mask wearing etc as they did with SARS.

    But its not over yet – fasten your seatbelts folks; there is more turbulence on its way …

  29. Avatar

    Chen

    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    My friend is a millionaire, wanted to come to Thailand for at least 3 months, possibly a year. He had no problem doing quarantine. That wasn’t what prevented him from coming. It was all the other hoops he had to jump through that scared him off. The requirements with COE, test before flight on top of a second test for TB and other diseases, etc. made it very difficult. The US embassies didn’t respond to him. He thought maybe it’d be easier to go through the Longstay travel company that was mentioned in many news reports and they just took his information and never got back to him. They made this entire process very difficult with having to time everything just perfectly and arrange all these things. This is very simple and they overcomplicated it. They should have just done this:
    Apply for visa and COE through agency simultaneously. Once granted THEN, you get your COVID test, insurance, and book your hotel. There’s no reason all these things need to be booked beforehand. This is what intimidated many people from coming. Nobody wants to put out all this money and time to book these things and THEN apply for visa and all with the chance you might get a declined visa and be out all this money. Plus, why do Americans need a TB test and other tests for diseases they never needed to test for before? They made things more difficult than they had to for absolutely no reason.

  30. Avatar

    Bangkok bob

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Nice picture,is it a selfie of the oracle of issan on new year’s eve?

  31. Avatar

    Faris Oweis

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 3:33 am

    My team (some based in Thailand) have actually been trying our best to work with the government around some less prohibitive ways to attract tourism in a safe and secure way. With that said no country is doing it perfect. It’d be great to co-create a piece on the experience so far engaging government ministries and large companies that already work with Thai government, airports, testing labs and how they are cooperating with their counterparts in other countries to attract tourism in new ways as the pandemic continues to evovle.

  32. Avatar

    John

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 5:45 am

    Too much paperwork for the visa.
    the quarantine yes, paperwork no

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update

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79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | The Thaiger

Today, the Thai government is reporting 79 new cases of Covid-19, with 65 locally-transmitted, and 14 imported, raising the total to 26,241 since the pandemic began. 1 new death has been reported, raising the total amount of deaths to 85. The new infections, which are now in the double-digits, shows Thailand’s Covid situation as improving according to the assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Panprapa Yongtrakul.

“The two-digit level of new cases found at hospitals and communities shows that the local Covid-19 situation is under control.”

The CCSA reports that 43 of the 65 local infections were found in communities with 22 of the 65 found in hospitals across 4 provinces.

Samut Sakhon province, the source of the second wave of Covid in the Kingdom, reported 77% of the new cases. Of the 50 cases found in the province, 38 were found in communities and 12 were found at hospitals.

Pathum Thani reported 8 new cases, with 3 being found at hospitals, and 5 in the community. Bangkok reported 6 new cases at hospitals and Chon Buri reported 1 infection found at a hospital. 12 of the 14 imported infections were quarantined arrivals from Russia, The United Arab Emirates, The United States, Slovenia, South Africa, Germany, Libya and Italy.

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | News by The Thaiger

The other 2 imported cases were that of Thai women, who ellegedly returned from Myanmar illegally through a natural border crossing in Tak province, despite the government closing off natural border crossings after the February coup by the military in Myanmar.

Covid-19 cases rose worldwide by 446,747 over the past 24 hours to 116.21 million. The worldwide death toll rose by 9,955 to 2.58 million. The US still has the most cases at 29.53 million, rising by 68,321 over the past 24 hours, and the most deaths at 533,636, rising by 1,993 over the last 24 hours.

In light of the recent downturn in reported cases, Samut Sakhon has recently reopened 22 of its wet markets. However, the seafood market where the second wave of the Covid outbreak began, is not one of them, and it is not yet known when that might reopen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports

Maya Taylor

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Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, will chair a meeting on Monday, in which a vaccine passport scheme and potential travel bubbles will be discussed. Anutin says those who’ve been inoculated against Covid-19 will be issued with a book to confirm their vaccination. It’s hoped this will make international travel easier, as well as boosting the public’s confidence and helping life return to some kind of normality.

“The Public Health Ministry is making preparations to bring life back to normal, restore businesses and revive the Thai economy.”

A number of groups and industry representatives have added their voices to growing calls for a vaccine passport policy. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is urging the government to implement the scheme without further delay, while also calling for private companies in Thailand to be allowed purchase and distribute vaccines.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is also pushing for a vaccine passport policy, while the Tourism Ministry has urged the Health Ministry to approve one. Meanwhile the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the Foreign Ministry to carry out a study on vaccine passports, adding that the jury is still out as to their effectiveness. They also have their critics, primarily among rights’ groups and doctors, who argue that there is not yet enough evidence that vaccination prevents transmission.

At Monday’s meeting of the National Communicable Diseases Committee, the Anutin-led panel will also discuss the idea of travel bubbles. Thailand has been considering entering into reciprocal travel arrangements with countries with a high take-up of Covid-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, Anutin says the public must continue with the practice of mask-wearing, noting that the number of Thais doing so has recently slipped. He says that recent data shows the number of people wearing masks has dropped below 80%, compared to 90% last month.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hospital in northern Thailand closes to visitors after 2 patients test positive for Covid-19

Maya Taylor

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Hospital in northern Thailand closes to visitors after 2 patients test positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Medical News

A hospital in the northern province of Tak has had to shut its doors to visitors after 2 patients treated at the facility subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. Nation Thailand reports that Mae Sot Hospital is now closed to visitors until Monday.

It’s understood that 19 staff members have had contact with 2 patients who tested positive for the virus. Hospital director Thawatchai Setsuppana says the closure is to facilitate a deep clean of the facility and confirmed that a number of medical workers are self-isolating.

“3 doctors, 11 nurses and 5 patient assistants have been ordered to undergo 14-day quarantine.”

Officials are now questioning both patients, in an effort to trace others who may have had contact with them. Tak province is on the border with Myanmar, which has had 142,000 cases of the virus, with 3,200 deaths.

Meanwhile, in the northern province of Sukothai, the provincial Public Health Office has confirmed that a Thai national who returned from working at a casino in Myanmar has also tested positive for Covid-19. It’s understood the woman developed symptoms prior to entering Thailand at the border town of Mae Sot on March 1, before taking a bus to her home in order to attend her grandfather’s funeral.

The provincial health office has issued a statement to confirm the timeline of the woman’s movements. It’s understood 17 people had contact with the woman, with 7 of those considered “high-risk”.

“On March 2, she took a Covid-19 test at Sukhothai Hospital and went shopping in Muang district before heading home. She was admitted to Ban Dan Lan Hoi Hospital on March 3 after her test came back positive.”

It is unclear how the woman managed to evade the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Border officials have stepped up patrols in recent weeks, amid fears that Burmese nationals fleeing the violence in Myanmar may attempt to cross illegally into Thailand, bypassing health checks and quarantine.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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