Thailand now equipped to perform 120,000 RT-PCR tests daily

PHOTO: The DMS is ready to process 120,000 RT-PCR tests per day. (via Flickr/UN Women Asia and the Pacific)

The Department of Medical Sciences has been ramping up their testing capabilities and have declared it can now perform 120,000 RT-PCR Covid-19 tests per day. They say it can complete the tests and offer results within 24 hours at any of their 443 active labs that are certified to conduct the tests.

Anyone travelling to Thailand is already required to complete a test with negative results within the 72 hours prior to their departure, but every person landing in Thailand is also obligated to take a second test as soon as they arrive in the Kingdom.

Even those travelling from one of the 63 approved countries that can enter Thailand without quarantine are still required to stay one night at an approved SHA+ or AQ hotel while they await their results from an RT-PCR test, so the fast processing capability is a necessity for tourism to thrive.

Only fully vaccinated travellers from the approved list of countries can enter in the new Test & Go programme. Though it is stated that there is no quarantine for that program, arrivals must wait for the results of their RT-PCR test, so they are forced to “quarantine” one night in a pre-booked approved hotel.

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Speeding up the testing process to provide results sooner could potentially help the entry process since, while Thai officials claim they are averaging a 6-hour wait time, internet posts have complained of delays of over 24 hours forcing them to wait in their arrival city and hotel before being able to travel freely throughout Thailand.

The DMS is striving to make the entry process easier by speeding up the testing process and also working to lower the price of the testing, which had been over 2,200 baht previously but has been reduced by 30% to 39%, leaving them now priced at between 1,400 and 1,600 baht.

They say they will work to lower the test costs further as well. Travellers are required to take a second test Covid-19 test after their first week in Thailand, but they are allowed to use much cheaper rapid antigen test kits for that.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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