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Task force to be formed to track tourists

Task force to be formed to track tourists

THAILAND: The Royal Thai Police is forming a special task force to track down tourists infected with COVID-19 as Thailand prepares to reopen its airspace to travellers.

By Bangkok Post

Monday 6 July 2020, 08:28AM

Pol Lt Gen Sutin Suppuang will head the new division. Photo: Bangkok Post

Pol Lt Gen Sutin Suppuang will head the new division. Photo: Bangkok Post

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) will be in charge of tracking tourists, according to a source.

National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda has appointed Pol Lt Gen Sutin Suppuang, commissioner of the CIB to establish a “COVID-19 Investigation Division” to avoid any potential future outbreaks, the source said.

The COVID-19 Investigation Division will contain the spread of the virus, which might enter the country by way of foreign tourists or Thai returnees when the airspace is reopened.

Pol Lt Gen Sutin admitted to the formation of this special division. Even though the government has yet to open its airspace to international flights, he said he has a blueprint on how the division will operate.

Staff will be recruited from the Thai Marine Police Division, Highway Police and Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division which normally work with the tourism sector. He added that police from the Crime Suppression Division will not be asked to join because they have their hands full.

“The nature of the COVID-19 Investigation Division will mainly involve tourist destinations and transport,” said Pol Lt Gen Sutin.

Marine Police Division commander Pol Maj Gen Sithatkhet Kruwattanaset said marine police usually oversee passenger ships along the Chao Phraya River but after joining the COVID-19 division, they will be asked to watch over tourists on the rivers and seas and record where they travel.

Diamond Resort Phuket

Meanwhile, Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division commander Pol Maj Gen Wiwat Chaisangkha said his division can supply tourists with information about the force to ensure compliance.

It is unclear how closely the authorities intend following tourists though to some extent they can rely on the help of online apps.

Pol Col Charoonkiat Pankaew, deputy commander of the Highway Police, said highway police may also set up checkpoints along roads to inspect tourists by measuring their temperature and noting their destinations.

In addition, the help of investigators to track the travel history of tourists may also be enlisted.

Pol Maj Gen Worapong Thongpaibul, commander of Tourist Police Subdivision 1, said he will also propose the creation of an online application to track tourist movement.

He said the app will enable travellers to easily contact the police if they need help and that it can work alongside with another tracking tool, the Thai Chana platform.

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Kurt | 10 July 2020 - 09:47:45

Check and Track only the Foreign Tourist from moment the Thai airspace opens? That is message of all Thai top police staff in article.  ( Thai returnees are already checked. I don't know or they are tracked).  Now, why no mentioning of Thai domestic thai tourists Checked & Tracked as their is hardly any testing of locals.

agogohome | 09 July 2020 - 15:22:27

To all the idiots making comments about tourists being tracked, read the bloody story first! 

Shwe | 07 July 2020 - 06:59:09

This is really good news, along with all the other hoops potential tourists have to jump through, no they will be tracked everywhere they go, another reason why no one will come, so the roads, beaches will be empty, great news 

Kurt | 07 July 2020 - 05:47:30

Welcome to Thailand, tourists.
You will be continually checked and tracked. Your travelling in Thailand will be guided and decided for you, where you may go and not go. Come and experience the most remarkable once in a life time regimental 'holiday'.  I guess many hotels/guesthouses in Thailand will not be happy if they are not chosen by Thai officials to host tourists.  

LALALA | 06 July 2020 - 11:54:56

This is a warning to all foreign tourists to NOT visit LOS anymore.

Christy Sweet | 06 July 2020 - 09:36:29

Great,  more no-advance- warning, sudden stop check points  on highways that accommodate 90 + kph velocities.  


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