Suvarnabhumi International Airport has opened a rapid-testing lab for the coronavirus, a critical step in reopening the country to foreign tourists.
Funded in part by the Public Health Ministry, the lab return results form most-accurate PCR test for Covid-19 in 90 minutes. Tests were first conducted on Thais arriving at Bangkok’s main international airport Friday
The ministry said rapid-test labs will be built at all the country’s international airports. Koh Samui already opened the island’s first such lab, although tests take four hours to process.
The ministry envisions offering 90-minute tests for foreigners who preregister and pay a 3,000-baht fee. If they test negative, they would not have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. However, the ministry said, they would be banned from public transport and unspecified other places.
Airport General Manager Suthirawat Suwanawat said Suvarnabhumi slowly is ramping up traffic, processing 4,000 passengers and 58 domestic flights last month. This month those numbers have jumped to 8,045 passengers and 177 flights.
International flights currently are only bringing Thais home, so the opening of the coronavirus-testing lab will be very useful, he said.