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Renowned Thai doctor cautions against letting tourists avoid 14 day quarantine



PHOTO: the foreign photographer from Flickr.

Yesterday, a renowned Thai doctor, told media that he and his colleagues strongly opposed any program designed to admit foreign tourists, even the vaccinated, if the tourists aren’t required to do a strict 14 day quarantine.

Further, Dr Prasit thinks that the quarantine should be even longer, depending on the variant.

The doctor, and Dean of Faculty of Medicine at Siriaj Hospital, was alluding to programs such as the Phuket Sandbox and the Pattaya Move On scheme.  Both programs would allow foreign (vaccinated) tourists to enter Thailand without a strict quarantine. However, visitors would still have to follow some terms and conditions.

He thinks these programs are coming too soon and the country should wait until the entire country has reached the 70% vaccination goal. A goal, it’s speculated, that might not be reached until next year.

Barring that, he thinks Thailand should wait until much more of the country has been vaccinated. He was worried that the measures and precautions already in place aren’t enough.

His primary concern is variants of the virus. Notably, variants that haven’t been discovered yet and could cause more problems down the line. Dr Prasit acknowledged the economy needs tourists to survive, but he emphasized that health concerns should take priority over economic ones.

However, Dr Prasit conceded that regardless of his and other medical professionals concerns, it is inevitable the country will keep pushing ahead with plans to reopen. He believes there is a happy medium between the “freedom” of tourists and preventative health measures.

Finally, Dr Prasit relayed his concerns that restrictions are being relaxed too quickly. He thinks restrictions have already relaxed “too much” in certain areas. He believes a level of indifference has set in toward Covid precautions. He considers this a failure of not taking the situation seriously enough.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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