Thailand expected to review list of countries eligible for “Test & Go” scheme

PHOTO: PR Bangkok

The Thai government is expected to review the list of countries eligible for the Test & Go entry scheme, as concerns over the Omicron variant mount. Supoj Malaniyom from the CCSA says Covid-19 screening will be intensified and the list of eligible countries will be revised. According to a Bangkok Post report, the CCSA is expected to identify a number of “high-risk” countries and will meet on Friday to decide the fate of the Test & Go scheme.

“We’re monitoring the spread of Omicron in other countries, not just the UK. The situation is alarming and we must take necessary precautions.”

Yesterday, the Public Health Minister said that he would be proposing the Test & Go scheme be ditched as cases of the Omicron variant spread rapidly across the world. Anutin Charnvirakul says his ministry would support the reimplementation of state quarantine or sandbox measures for all international arrivals, regardless of vaccination status. His comments came as Thailand confirmed its first case of local transmission of the highly-contagious variant.

The Bangkok Post reports that the infection was confirmed by Chakkarat Pitayawong-anant, the Department of Disease Control’s director of epidemiology. A 49 year old Thai woman caught Covid-19 from her husband, a Colombian pilot who arrived from Nigeria via the sandbox programme on November 26.

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Chakkarat says he is in favour of increased travel restrictions for a temporary period, to slow the spread of the variant.

“To slow the spread of Omicron we need to do 3 things – slow the arrival rate, especially under Test & Go, speed up vaccinations, and wear masks.”

Meanwhile, Supakij Sirilak from the Department of Medical Sciences has confirmed that as of Monday, Thailand had 63 confirmed Omicron infections, adding that the detection rate has increased from less than 1% last week to 3% now. He says around 25% of international arrivals who tested positive for Covid-19 were found to be infected with the Omicron variant.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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