The Public Health Ministry will recommend that the suspension of the “Test & Go” limited-quarantine entry scheme be extended until the end of January as the coronavirus omicron variant continues its relentless march across the country.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Monday that the Department of Medical Sciences has sequenced another 229 new omicron cases, bringing the total found in Thailand to 1,780. Not all Covid-19 cases are sequenced, so the actual number of infected likely is many times more.
However, total new daily cases in the country remain at under 3,000.
Most cases omicron cases were discovered in Bangkok, Kalasin, Roi Et, Chon Buri and Phuket, Anutin said.
Again refusing to accept the fact that there is no stopping omicron no matter what damaging restrictions he concocts, the blowhard public health minister said he will ask the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration to extend the suspension of the Test & Go program another four weeks to Jan. 31.
The proposal will be presented to the CCSA at a meeting attended by the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Public Health, the director-general of the Department of Disease Control and medical professionals on Friday.
Reversing its earlier flip-flop, the ministry again is saying that travelers who already registered via Test & Go must arrive in Thailand by Jan. 10. Those arriving after the deadline will be required to enter through the Phuket Sandbox program or be confined to a pricey alternative quarantine hotel for a week.
The ministry originally announced the Jan. 10 deadline then reversed itself, saying approve Test & Go tourists could arrive any time. Now Anutin has flip-flopped again.