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Medical certificate required for travellers from risk areas as COVID-19 measures ramped up

Medical certificate required for travellers from risk areas as COVID-19 measures ramped up

WORLD: The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is requiring travellers from COVID-19 infected countries and territories to produce medical certificates prior to boarding their flights to Thailand to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 10 March 2020, 08:54AM

An official studies a computer monitor to check passengers body temperatures with a thermal scanner upon their arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo: Wichan Chaorenkiatpakul

An official studies a computer monitor to check passengers body temperatures with a thermal scanner upon their arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo: Wichan Chaorenkiatpakul

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said yesterday (Mar 9) the CAAT has issued an official announcement, saying travellers from South Korea, China, Italy, Iran, Macau and Hong Kong who fail to show their health certificates to authorities before boarding their flights to Thailand will not be allowed to continue their journey.

The restrictions are in line with Thailand’s Communicable Diseases Act (2015), the minister said.

Upon arriving at Thai airports, they must present their health certificate along with a filled-out T8 form to disease control officials for verification, said Mr Saksayam.

According to the minister, anyone found producing fake certificates to Thai health authorities will face legal action and mandatory quarantine.

Mr Saksayam also assured that Suvarnabhumi airport, as Thailand’s main international gateway, has put strict screening measures in place to help curb the spread of the disease from air travellers.

He also insisted that to date, airport officials assigned to screen passengers have not shown any fever and/or other symptoms.

Withaya Yamuang, director-general of the Marine Department, yesterday also applied similar rules to boat passengers and crews from COVID-19 affected countries and territories.

“Boat passengers and crew will be required to provide health certificates to enter Thailand, and they will also be subjected to the country’s quarantine regulations,” Mr Withaya said.

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In addition, boat captains must submit necessary documents to disease control authorities 24 hours prior to docking, he said.

The documents include the maritime declaration of health, a list of 10 ports they had just visited, crew and passenger manifest and the results of their body temperature checks over the past week. Violators are liable to fines of between 1,000 and 10,000 baht.

As of yesterday, Thai officials had confirmed 50 local cases of COVID-19. Thirty-three people have recovered, 16 patients are still in hospitals while one has died.

The latest confirmed case involves a Thai student who recently returned from Iran. Officials in Nakhon Si Thammarat have identified 157 people who came in close contact with the infected student. Their blood samples were being tested, but some of them had already left Thailand.

Another 4,518 people have been placed under observation. Of them, 2,729 has been cleared or recovered. Most of them had seasonal influenza, he said.

In another development, health authorities and local officials in Nakhon Pathom’s Muang district, yesterday raided a hotel where a group of 32 Chinese tourists were staying, following tip-offs from netizens on social media which sparked worries among local residents.

After the raid, officers found that the Chinese tourists were employees of a private firm, who travelled from China’s Zhejiang province. All were found to be in good health.

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Jor12 | 12 March 2020 - 16:10:05

Thailand is nearly double the size of Italy.  Deaths in Thailand 1; deaths to date Italy...827.  You're swimming against the tide k...give up.

Kurt | 12 March 2020 - 08:07:44

And J., officially already 60,  may be more cases in Thailand. Seems thai Officialdom realise it has to increase the figures slowly to 'real' to remain believed/credible.

Kurt | 12 March 2020 - 07:58:13

J, Comfort yourself with that figure of 'only 50 cases in Thailand'. If so, for what than is the Phuket Governor keeping a small quarantine place on Phuket secret as he is afraid of panicking phuket people? There is nowhere in Thailand panic among the normal population. And J. Europe is a bit bigger than Thailand.

Jor12 | 11 March 2020 - 12:23:44

Seems like Italy, Germany USA and Iran could take lessons from Thailand. Only 50 cases in Thailand, whereas deaths in Europe surged today to 631 deaths.  

Kurt | 11 March 2020 - 12:13:06

P, the situation border crossing Italy/Austria is complete different. And the Italian health certificate is not for country border crossing as whole north Italy is locked down, but for being allowed to leave you complete locked down Italian city with a urgent reason.  My point is: incubation time, not showing symptoms during it, but infecting while shoulder to shoulder sitting in aircrafts.

Kurt | 11 March 2020 - 09:33:25

Coming up with 'protective measures' as a Government, measures that are not protective at all, make the public not believing in it. Start with not letting many illegal Thai workers returning with international flight from infected Korea areas not let 'skip' Immigration check at thai airports. Still about 150,000 illegals have to come home.

Pascale | 10 March 2020 - 19:37:04

You need a health certificate now if you come from Italy wanting to enter Austria.Must be according to Kurt a complete idiot thing too.Great to have such an expert.The WHO should contact him for advices on how to tackle the virus.

Kurt | 10 March 2020 - 19:06:47

May be people in usa/europe get that health paper, perhaps already infected, but not known. Than sit 12-16 hours in aircrafts, shoulder at shoulder with others, arriving Thailand, get sick 1 week later. During flights they infected others. Useless paper work. Best is, not travel to Thailand.

Rorri_2 | 10 March 2020 - 18:34:45

Dek, again you fail to understand, we do not reject, we simply point out the weakness in what they say/do, this is from us able to think, unlike yourself. Just look at the fiasco when 80 pee noi just walked off.

Kurt | 10 March 2020 - 16:02:05

@Sandbar, you are 100% right about STRICT border control.  But you also red that 80 thai Illegal Korea workers were able to avoid Thai Immigration after return arrival with international flight from Korea. What is 'strict' in Thailand, it are only words.

DeKaaskopp | 10 March 2020 - 15:43:03

Whatever idea Thailand comes up to introduce protective measures is rejected by experts on here.Maybe it's time to adopt all those successful taken measures in countries like Germany,Italy,France etc..That worked well,didn't it ?

Sandbar | 10 March 2020 - 15:19:10

Doctors of travlers from countries of high risk stated in this article could not legally sign off on a medical certificate of clearance until they had medical evidence to support thier diagnosis! So the request from (CAAT) of a medical clearence certificate is not without  merrit. Doctors would be breaking the law singing off on a certificate without correct medical information (my opinion only)

Fascinated | 10 March 2020 - 12:08:25

'I have a piece of paper'. 'Pass friend'. If this is the level of prevention prepare for an epidemic. 

Rorri_2 | 10 March 2020 - 11:32:36

It's not as thought you get a clearance, at the airport, it takes time to have blood checked, and whose to say you don't get infected after being to the doctor's. 

Rorri_2 | 10 March 2020 - 11:30:35

Yet another naol in Thailand's tourist coffin... but hey, by tomorrow we'll probably see a retraction,  how nany tourists will see a doctor, prior to boarding.

Sandbar | 10 March 2020 - 11:12:31

Excellant decision by (CAAT). Strict  boarder control is paramount in containing this virus from spreading!

Kurt | 10 March 2020 - 09:51:06

The whole world is now a risk area since yesterday was announced that it is now officially a Pandemic!

Kurt | 10 March 2020 - 09:48:02

A complete idiot new Thai thing.
Countries have their hands full with testing suspected infected people. Do the Thai really think foreign hospitals are going to test healthy people who go to travel to Thailand? Complete off the road thinking, not yet talking about the incubation time of at least 14 days what makes such certificate a piece of 'nonsense'.  Think first.


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