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The return of Test & Go? Health Minister to propose entry scheme be restored

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: PR Phuket

Thailand’s Public Health Minister says he’s backing the restoration of the Test & Go entry scheme as concerns about the Omicron variant subside. Test & Go was suspended around 4 weeks ago as the highly-contagious Covid-19 variant spread around the globe. Now, Anutin Charnvirakul says he’ll ask the CCSA to consider bringing it back, as well as easing a number of other restrictions.

The Bangkok Post reports that Anutin will put his request to the CCSA following talks with the Department of Disease Control in which it was confirmed that Omicron has not led to the wave of severe illness and hospitalisations the government initially feared. According to the report, Anutin wants to see a balance struck between disease control and rebooting the struggling economy. What is not known however, is if he plans to propose the re-opening of nightlife and entertainment venues. The minister has long held the view that such establishments are breeding grounds for the virus, with several major clusters linked to recent end-of-year celebrations.

In related news, the Bangkok Post reports that the Centre for Medical Genomics at Ramathibodi Hospital says Omicron has now nearly totally replaced Delta in the capital. Tests run on infected patients in Bangkok and elsewhere in central Thailand show 91% of cases are the Omicron variant, whereas Delta accounts for just 2.8%. The centre says that eventually, everyone will probably contract the milder Omicron variant, which, coupled with vaccination, will help build immunity.

“That is when almost everyone will be infected with Omicron at one time or another. After that, people will have built a high immunity either from the vaccine or the infection. The intensity of Covid-19 symptoms will decline and fatalities will be significantly reduced.”

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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