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Expat Bringing Covid-19 Back to Thailand as Health Minister Frets Over Migrants

Coronavirus Covid-19 Update Thailand Herald

With Thailand allowing more expats to return, the number of foreigners infected with the coronavirus continues to rise.

This weekend saw American and Ethiopian nationals testing positive for Covid-19 in quarantine, along with five Thai returnees.

On Saturday the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration reported one new Covid-19 case, a returnee from the Netherlands who arrived arrived on Aug. 15 and was quarantined in Chonburi Province. The Thai woman, age 30, was found with Covid-19 on her second test on Aug; 26 while being asymptomatic.

A day earlier, the CCSA said a 45-year old Thai welder in Uzbekistan arrived in Thailand on Aug. 13 and entered state quarantine in Bangkok. Asymptomatic, he tested positive in a second test on Aug. 24.

Additionally, a 36-year old Thai woman, who had been working in the Philippines, returned to Thailand on Aug. 15  and entered state quarantine in Chonburi. A second test, conducted on Aug. 27, found her infected with the virus, although she also did not exhibit any symptoms.

A 62-year old American male, with a work permit for Thailand, and a 44-year old Thai maid arrived on Aug. 22 from Germany, with the man entering quarantine in Bangkok and the woman entering quarantine in Samut Prakan. Both tested positive for Covid-19 on Aug. 26.

Finally, a couple from Ethiopia, who arrived in Thailand on Aug. 26 for medical treatment and entered hospital quarantine in Bangkok, tested positive upon arrival, but without any symptoms.

Of 3,411 confirmed cases, 3,242 recovered. The death toll stood at 58.

Thailand has an excellent system to screen arrivals for the coronavirus and people can be helpful by informing officials of illegal migrants, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said.

Anutin said the screening system included Covid-19 tests before travelers board their planes and after they land. Besides, arrivals must be quarantined for 14 days, during which time they will be repeatedly tested for the disease. Arrivals must also undergo immunity tests to determine if they earlier had the disease.

Anutin said that new Covid-19 cases were arrivals and all of them were quarantined. Infected people were sent to treatment immediately. Those having traces of the dead disease are subject to an efficient disease-control system and officials reach people in close contact with them to contain the disease.

He expressed his concern about the arrivals of illegal migrant workers who dodge disease control. He asked people not to help illegal migrants and to inform officials of their presence so that officials can implement disease control measures immediately.

“The Ministry of Public Health joins forces with all organizations to cope when the new spread of the disease occurs. This refers to the preparation of personnel, medicine, preventive gear, treatment, knowledge and experiences. When people are helpful by wearing face masks, observing social distancing and frequently washing hands, the chance of infection and a super spreader will be little,” Anutin said.