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Covid-19 mysteries still unsolved, health officials brush off risk of reopening borders

Caitlin Ashworth

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Covid-19 mysteries still unsolved, health officials brush off risk of reopening borders | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: pata.or
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What’s the risk of spreading Covid-19 if borders are reopened? None apparently, just as long as tourists go through a 14 day quarantine when they enter the country, according to the Department of Disease Control. Long stay tourist visas were just approved by the Cabinet and the DDC deputy director general Tanarak Plipat says the move will not raise the risks of local Covid-19 cases. He says those visitors are required to stay at state quarantine facilities for 2 weeks.

While the 14 day quarantine is the standard time to make sure someone is coronavirus free, a football player from Uzbekistan, who flew into Thailand last month, tested positive after he was released from quarantine. He tested negative for Covid-19 multiple times during quarantine. It seems like a local transmission, but some health officials speculate the virus may have a longer incubation period in rare cases and he may have “brought the infection with him” when he entered Thailand.

Another possible local transmission is 2 year old Burmese boy who tested positive for Covid-19 after returning to his home country from Thailand. Tanarak said Thailand is “vigorously” investigating, while another health official says it’s “impossible” the boy caught the virus in Thailand.

Health officials are also still trying to get a handle on the local transmission detected earlier this month when a Bangkok DJ tested positive for the Covid-19 during a routine check at a local prison. It broke Thailand’s 100 day streak of no local transmissions. Health officials do not know where the virus came from and say the man contracted the G strain of the virus, a more infectious strain that is common in imported cases detected in quarantine.

Around 14,400 tourists will visit the country a year under the long stay visa, generating a revenue of about 12.36 billion baht per year, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT. The Special Tourist Visa recently approved by the Cabinet would allow a 90 day stay which can be renewed twice, adding up to around 9 months. Tourists on the long stay visa authorised by the government must travel on chartered flights directly to their destinations, according to TAT’s deputy governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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.

1 Comment

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    lou

    September 17, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    have you checked the non sense figures before repeating them ? A Joke !!!

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