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Health Minister says quarantine could be reduced to 10 days, maybe eventually zero

Maya Taylor

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Health Minister says quarantine could be reduced to 10 days, maybe eventually zero | The Thaiger
PHOTO: WHO/Ploy Phutpheng
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Health officials are ready to reduce the mandatory quarantine period for foreign tourists, provided other relevant bodies agree. The current quarantine period is set at 14 days, but the Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, says this could be reduced to 10. He adds that if the reduction is successful, quarantine could be further reduced, eventually reaching a point where quarantine is no longer a requirement.

“The truth is, the Public Health Ministry is ready for the change, but other relevant agencies still have requested time to adjust. So, we have to wait and work together. The Department of Disease Control proposed reducing quarantine to 10 days to begin with. I have said that if we are confident, we do not have to be afraid since the goal is finding the safest period for quarantine. If we find a good method, it may be reduced to 5, 4, 3 days, or even none.”

On Tuesday, Thailand welcomed the first group of foreign tourists to arrive in the Kingdom since borders were shut in late March. The Chinese visitors, who arrived from Shanghai, are all in 14-day quarantine, with all of them testing negative for Covid-19 so far. Once quarantine is over, they will be free to travel around, but their movements will be tracked via an app they had to download on arrival.

While a reduction in the quarantine period may go some way to encouraging more tourists to come, Anutin is not in favour of removing all entry restrictions. With travel restrictions lifted between many European countries, Covid-19 cases are once more on an upward trajectory, with officials concerned about what the approaching winter months will bring. Anutin points to the success so far of Thailand’s quarantine programme, stressing the importance of keeping Covid-19 out, particularly in high-risk communities such as the border with Myanmar in Tak province.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rasputin

    October 22, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Dream On

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 22, 2020 at 10:16 am

    The hotels like the idea of quarantine at the start. Why not. Guests compelled to stop for 14 days, and the hotels added on two more unjustified days, just as a scam charge.
    They could also supply all the food for these trapped guests, and charge a over the top for everything else, such as mini bar prices. Laundry. Room service.
    Besides, only so many hotels had permission and the had a monopoly, or so they thought.
    However, few people would come and tolerate this quarantine, and worse, quarantine kept out thousands of visitors.
    The end result was: no big bucks from quarantine, and the hotel was empty because of quarantine.
    Thailand has to take the risk, and it is an acceptable risk. The chances of catching this virus is tiny in relation to the population.
    I see now even the health minister is seeing it this way.

    • Avatar

      Jake Pattaya

      October 22, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      Acceptable risk for you Tony, but not for 99% of 60 mln Thais. Thailand is virus free and 99% of Thais want to keep it that way. Why won’t you finally understand that 3/4 of Europe is again under lockdown most of businesses closed and that is what is killing economy, and this is because people like you! You keep bragging about letting virus in without even looking at economic consequences. What percentage of the economy is closed in Thailand compare to Europe at this moment? Stop asking bar girls for opinion and ask some other Thais, there is a whole world out there except that bar you used to drink!

      • Avatar

        Latecomer

        October 22, 2020 at 5:17 pm

        Do you know how to compare anything to anything? In Thailand there are in average 20 000 /twenty thousand/ road deaths every year. Every year. 20 000. How acceptable is risk being on Thai roads? But, nobody considers nor proposes to stop the traffic altogether “to save lives”.
        And now Covid had 59 /fifty nine/ fatalities this year.
        Can you compare the risks of 59 to 20 000?

      • Avatar

        Mike Frenchie

        October 23, 2020 at 4:59 am

        you forget the 20-25% of people living off tourism… (plus black economy). They will be starving soon….

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          October 26, 2020 at 8:53 am

          20 – 25% of Thais are not living off foreign tourism, directly or indirectly.

          This is simply unsupported, uninformed and baseless nonsense.

          • Avatar

            rr

            October 27, 2020 at 6:08 am

            at least 8% of gdp comes from tourist. maybe 20% is too much, but about 5 millions people, including secondaries, are realistically involved. let alone that their money geherate further income for others.

      • Avatar

        rr

        October 27, 2020 at 6:09 am

        thailand is not virus free, there is simply an extremely low test ratio.

  3. Avatar

    preesy chepuce

    October 22, 2020 at 11:26 am

    sounds more like a countdown than anything based on science.

  4. Avatar

    Paulnou

    October 22, 2020 at 11:28 am

    test before, upon arrival, 3 to 5 days later, tracing, that is more than enough to stop quarantine and bring some important part of the economy with no damages. Sve suicides lives, get back jobs…..

    • Avatar

      Jyrett

      October 22, 2020 at 11:51 am

      So do these c19 test only recognize c19 strain or do they trigger on all the other 5 covid strains (the common flue)when testing

      • The Thaiger & The Nation

        The Thaiger & The Nation

        October 22, 2020 at 1:37 pm

        The common flu is NOT a strain of Covid-19, nor is it a coronavirus

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 26, 2020 at 9:10 am

      “no damages”?

      Testing isn’t good enough to allow your solution yet – it simply wouldn’t be effective.

      14 days quarantine is still far from a 100% guarantee, but it’s close enough to work – the more you reduce it, the more risk you take. It’s a simple equation.

      • Avatar

        biochemist

        October 27, 2020 at 6:05 am

        Wrong. Antigen rapid test is very effective and can be confirmed by pcr when positive test is found. no need for quarantine for negatives.

  5. Avatar

    Nipral

    October 22, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    How are they gonna make money with zero day quarantine ?

  6. Avatar

    Jordan Dewachter

    October 22, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Fact is that the current Thai approach is a success, but it wrecks tourism. The western approach is a disaster, it wrecks tourism too, and all the rest of the economy, plus adds an out of control epidemic and health crisis. Would be dumb to now open for tourism and wreck everything completelly.

  7. Avatar

    Andrew

    October 22, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Hurray! Thailand’s tourism and economy is saved. 39 Chinese ‘tourists’ arrived. The good Times are back. How ridiculous!!!

  8. Avatar

    Andrzej

    October 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    Covid killed 59 in Thailand, out of 70,000,000. That’s 0.00008%. Good reason to panic, kill the economy and destroy lifes of millions. 20,000 dead in road accidents.That’s ok, nobody cares. Hmm.

  9. Avatar

    EdwardV

    October 22, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    Let’s not forget the Chinese arriving are not tourists. They are people returning to run their Thai businesses, check on their properties and return to their families living in Thailand. They are not tourists. To make it even more clear, yesterday China reaffirmed the fact their citizens are banned from traveling outside of China for tourism. There is an article to that effect over at the BP. If Chinese tourists can’t come to Thailand , why reduce the quarantine? Could it be the fact the Thai government knows the economy is slowly dying, that personal debt levels are skyrocketing? Why else take the risk?

  10. Avatar

    West Tiger

    October 23, 2020 at 12:34 am

    With no Chinese tour groups coming here for at least a year, Thailand has to do something to get Farangs back, but asking Farangs to jump through hoops to get a visa is not one of then a they will go to other countries where it’s a lot easier to get a visa.
    Thailand has really shot itself in the foot when it comes to Farang tourists

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 26, 2020 at 9:04 am

      So what’s the big advantage of allowing “Farangs” in, which will inevitably mean that Thailand will have to go down the same route as Farangland by imposing lockdowns and then closing its borders, affecting the rest of the economy as it has in Farangland and forcing the country into debt to pay for the sick, isolating and unemployed?

      Who benefits?

      WHO?

  11. Avatar

    rr

    October 27, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    these two things are as comparable as apples vs guns. stop take road accidents as an example. road accidents are not transmissible diseases.

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Coronavirus Japan

Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay

The Thaiger

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Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay | The Thaiger

The Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more than its original budget of US$13 billion, after it has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Olympic organisers say they will decide on the increased budget for the Games after communicating with Japan’s government and Tokyo. The Games were postponed by 1 year after Covid-19 spread worldwide, with its opening date set to July 23, 2021. Of all the events postposed because of Covid-19, the Olympics was the biggest and most complex to postpone.

Such a delay has yielded new costs, from retaining the organising staff, rebooking venues and transportation. Not to mention, the question of if the event can actually proceed safely. But Olympic officials are reaffirming that the Games can, indeed, be held following safety measures.

Such covid safety measures are reportedly another reason why the price of the event has increased, although the new estimated cost doesn’t include such measures. Officials say they are expecting the additional costs to be paid for by the Japanese government. Organisers and officials are reportedly considering a long list of possible virus countermeasures that they hope will make the Games possible, even if a vaccine is not yet available.

A dialed-down, lower-cost Olympics plan was announced in September, with banners, mascots, meals, and athlete welcome ceremonies being scrapped along with fewer free tickets to be offered. A senior official has said that Tokyo Olympics test events will resume in March with a decision on fan attendance to be made in the spring season.

Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee Chief says he is very confident that the Games will have attending fans. However, fan enthusiasm has decreased inside of Japan, with summer polls indicating only 1 in 4 Japanese people wanting the Games to happen, with most wanting them to be postponed or even fully cancelled.

So far, Tokyo has reported just over 40,000 cases of Covid, with Japan reporting 145,000 cases since the pandemic began.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus Singapore

Singaporean woman gives birth to baby with Covid antibodies in system

The Thaiger

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Singaporean woman gives birth to baby with Covid antibodies in system | The Thaiger

A Singaporean woman has given birth to a baby with Covid antibodies in its system, giving new clues into whether Covid can be transferred from mother to child. The woman, Celine Ng-Chan, was infected with the virus in March during her pregnancy, and gave birth this month to her Covid-free baby.

“My doctor suspects I have transferred my Covid-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy.”

The World Health Organisation says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman with Covid-19 can pass the virus to her foetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.

Ng-Chan became mildly sick from the virus, but was discharged from the National University Hospital after 2.5 weeks. So far, the World Health Organisation says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery, but this new finding helps researchers with new information. The active virus has not been found in samples of fluid around the fetus in the womb or in breast milk as of now, with Chinese doctors reporting such detection of antibodies in babies born to women, who have been infected with the virus, has been shown to decline over time.

New York Presbyterian/Columia University Irving Medical Centre has also reported in October, in JAMA Pediatrics, that the transmission of the virus from mothers to babies is rare, further pointing towards the risks being minimal of the possible transmission from mother to baby either in the womb, during delivery, or in breastfeeding.

Meanwhile, a 29 year old female Thai returnee from Myanmar has tested positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, after visiting the hospital with flu-like symptoms. She was the only local case reported, out of 5 other positive tests, with officials saying she is believed to have contracted the virus in Myanmar.

The positive test on November 27, came after she was out and about, with authorities saying 326 people are suspected of coming in contact with the woman. The woman reportedly visited a mall to eat Japanese shabu, watched a movie, visited a karaoke bar, and used public transportation before her positive diagnosis.

SOURCE: NDTV.com

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai woman tests positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, 72 people found to be in close contact

The Thaiger

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Thai woman tests positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, 72 people found to be in close contact | The Thaiger

A 29 year old female Thai returnee from Myanmar has tested positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, after visiting the hospital with flu-like symptoms. She was the only local case reported, out of 5 other positive tests, with officials saying she is believed to have contracted the virus in Myanmar. The positive test on November 27, came after she was out and about, with authorities saying 326 people are suspected of coming in contact with the woman. The woman reportedly visited a mall to eat Japanese shabu, watched a movie, visited a karaoke bar, and used public transportation before her positive diagnosis.

Of those suspected 326 people who came in contact with the woman, 105 were deemed at high risk of infection with 149 deemed at low risk. Officials said 72 people were in close contact with her. The mall operator says those who were found to be in contact with the woman will proceed to a 14 day quarantine period.

The woman reportedly came down with symptoms on November 23 and went to the Nakornping Hospital the next day to be checked out. Now, the Chiang Mai governor has ordered all affected venues to be disinfected, including the Central Festival Chiangmai mall, which closed at 4 pm for a “big cleaning” yesterday.

Officials from the Disease Control Department have provided the woman’s whereabouts at a briefing on Saturday as part of the contact-tracing exercise. Sopon Liamsirithavorn, director of the Communicable Diseases Division, has presented a timeline of her movements:

  • From October 24 to November 23, the woman was in Myanmar. On November 23, she developed a fever, watery diarrhea, and lost her sense of smell.
  • On November 24, she still had a fever and developed a cough and a headache. Around 5 am on that day, she travelled from Myanmar to the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai by public van.
  • Around 11 am on November 24, she left Chiang Rai for Chiang Mai by bus.
  • At 2.51 pm the same day, the woman arrived at her condominium in a Grab car. That night, she used another Grab car to visit a karaoke bar in the Santitham area with two friends. They smoked a cigarette and shared it.
  • On November 25, she stayed overnight at a condominium with one of the friends who had returned from the entertainment venue around 2 am. Two other friends who lived in the room opposite came to the room to drink alcohol.
  • About noon on November 25, the woman left the condominium in another Grab car. She arrived at her condo building at around 1 pm.
  • Between 3.30 pm and 8.30 pm, she used another Grab car to visit a shopping mall and watched a movie there, had meals, and went shopping. She wore a face mask most of the time. She later used another Grab car to return to her condominium.
  • On November 26, the woman took a Grab car to a private hospital in Chiang Mai for a medical check-up around 3.30 pm after she lost her sense of smell, had watery diarrhea, and a body temperature of 36.9 celsius. She underwent a Covid-19 test.
  • Around 10pm, she was sent to Nakornping Hospital for another Covid-19 test. On November 27, the tests turned out positive.

A full announcement is set to be made by the Chiang Mai governor and Thai public health authorities when more information has been confirmed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Reuters

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