Thai health officials are scrambling to explain how a South Korean soldier tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from a training mission in Rayong.
Walairat Chaifu, chief of the Epidemiology Division at the Department of Disease Control, said the South Korean soldier had participated in a meeting to plan the last session of Cobra Gold military exercise during Nov 3-5.
The participants included 177 Thai soldiers and 25 foreign soldiers from the US., South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, China, India and Japan. They were engaged in activities mostly in conference rooms and had buffet meals at a hotel in Rayong’s Ban Chang District.
All foreign soldiers underwent Covid-19 testing before they departed for Thailand. They passed screening processes on their arrivals before entering quarantine. Covid-19 testing was conducted on them twice during the quarantine.
The South Korean soldier was found being infected with coronavirus on his arrival at Incheon International Airport. Other South Korean soldiers tested negative for the virus and Thai participating soldiers would be quarantined.
Disease investigation by South Korean authorities is under way to determine where he contracted the virus.
Local residents in Rayong were told to be at ease as the soldier completed quarantine and the transmission risk is unlikely, she said.