A number of recommendations have been which may amend Thailand’s response to increasing Covid-19 case numbers. Consideration is being given by the Prime Minister to revamping the current country-wide restrictions, likely to be announced by the Prime Minister on Monday (4th January).
At the time of publication, no new Orders have been reported from the Governors of either Phetchaburi or Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Amongst the recommendations, the Ministry of Public Health will ask for the imposition of lockdown restrictions on the eastern provinces of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chanthaburi for 28 days to stop the continuing surge of Covid-19 infections.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced 315 new cases on Sunday, with 21 of them in quarantine facilities.
Of the domestic cases, two were linked to the Samut Sakhon cluster, one was linked to the Rayong cluster, 37 had occupations or went to areas that exposed them to risk of infection and 20 migrant workers tested positive during proactive testing in Nonthaburi and Samut Sakhon provinces.
CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said 234 patients are under investigation to find the source of infection — two in Bangkok, one in Nonthaburi, 38 in Samut Sakhon, 43 in Rayong, 62 in Chonburi, 8 in Samut Prakarn, 68 in Chanthaburi and 12 in Trad.
The 21 patients in quarantine facilities included five foreigners — two Czech Republic nationals coming from Qatar, and two Russians and an Indian from their home countries.
The Thai nationals included four coming from the United States, three each from Egypt and Pakistan, two from Bahrain, and one each from Italy, Indonesia, Kuwait and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, 38 patients have recovered and been discharged
Deputy Minister Sathit Pitutecha says additional measures are necessary because many people considered at risk of contracting the disease have concealed their involvement in activities while others have refused to report to health officials for screening. Mr Sathit said most infections in the three provinces are linked to illegal gambling dens.
The proposed lockdown measures would include travel restrictions to prevent people in the three provinces from leaving the areas unless doing so is absolutely necessary, Mr Sathit said.
He said the ministry also plans to ask the CCSA to set up checkpoints along roads linking the three provinces to Bangkok and other regions such as the Burapha Withi Expressway and a highway in Prachin Buri.
In relation to Bangkok, the Thai Restaurants Association has fiercely opposed the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)’s proposal to limit eateries to selling only takeaway orders and ban sit-in meals to prevent spreading Covid-19. Restaurants currently are able to open and serve meals, however alcohol cannot be consumed on the premises.
Shopping malls in Thailand will close at 9pm from 4 January 2021, Thai Retailers and Shopping Center Association has announced. The early closure of participating malls is in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19, the announcement said. In its announcement, the Association said it was employing “world class” measures to tackle COVID-19.
The Ministry of Education has announced schools in the 28 high risk provinces that include Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan must close until January 31st.
The Department of Land Transport has announced that there will be no training or testing to obtain a driver’s license at all offices from 2nd January 2021 until further notice
The Buriram Communicable Disease Committee have announced that passengers travelling from Bangkok via Buriram Airport must must be quarantined in a residence or a place designated by the Buriram Communicable Disease Committee for 14 days without leaving the quarantine area. If they get sick, they must notify the communicable disease control officer within three hours.
However passengers who do not wish to quarantine must be examined in a laboratory where they will be screened by Rapid Test method. The passenger must pay the cost of Bt600 per person. If they test negative, they are not required to quarantine.
OFFICIAL COVID-19 INFORMATION WEBSITE
The Department of Disease Control now provides English COVID-19 information updates and situation reports daily at https://covid19.th-stat.com/en
On this website, visitors can also check the number of infected persons in each province by clicking on the map of Thailand.
In addition, there is information about risk levels and recommendations for self-assessment during the pandemic, the number of cases, and the number of people in state quarantine.
VARIANT FOUND IN QUARANTINED ARRIVALS
The fast-spreading variant of the virus which causes COVID-19, first identified in the UK, has been found in Thailand in a family of four Britons who arrived from Kent, in southeast in England, and are currently in quarantine at a private hospital, according to Dr. Yong Pooworavan, chief of the Virology Centre of the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University.
Immigration offices in Thailand remain open and expats are reminded they still need to complete 90-day reports and extension-of-stay renewals.