Tourist numbers up, positive Covid-19 tests down

Hospitalisations and deaths from Covid have dropped substantially

Positive Covid-19 tests, hospitalisations and deaths dropped substantially in the third week of January.

The much-needed return of tourists to the kingdom in substantial numbers has not produced the much-feared spike in Covid cases or deaths. All the metrics were down in the third week of January, with only a handful of foreigners testing positive.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) said on Wednesday that 627 positive Covid tests led to hospitalisation from January 15-21, an average of 90 per day, much lower than the 969 hospitalised in the previous week, averaging 138 patients per day. So far this year, 2,593 people have been admitted to hospitals with coronavirus symptoms.

The third week of this year also saw 44 deaths from Covid, or about six per day, with nine per day last week. So far this year, 167 people have died.

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The number of Australians visiting Phuket has reached almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels, and not a single one of them has tested positive so far. Russian tourists seem to be arriving in Phuket in droves with over 50,000 of them landing on its shores in November and none of them appears to have brought Covid with them.

The second largest group of tourists came from India, 27,000 travellers and once again, all of them appear to be free of infection.

Only eight foreign arrivals tested positive between January 8 and 21. One was hospitalised while the rest had mild or no symptoms. Three of the positive Covid tests were Chinese while the others came from Myanmar, Cambodia, Japan, the UK, and South Korea.

The Omicron BA.2.75 subvariant is currently the dominant strain in Thailand, accounting for 86% of infections.

DDC director-general Thares Krainairawiwong said…

“People are advised to continue protecting their health against Covid-19 by wearing face masks in public, washing their hands regularly, and taking an ATK test immediately if they have symptoms of fever, coughing, runny nose, or lose their sense of smell or taste.”

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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