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New Year celebrations allowed, all provinces COVID-safe

New Year celebrations allowed, all provinces COVID-safe

THAILAND: All provinces are COVID-safe for tourists and people can enjoy the New Year celebrations, with local infections at a Bangkok hospital and imported cases from Tachilek all under control, the Disease Control Department announced today (Dec 15).

CoronavirusCOVID-19tourismSafetyhealth
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 15 December 2020, 03:33PM


Dancers in Santa Claus costumes invite people to a New Year event in Bangkok. The Disease Control Department issued an assurance today (Dec 15) that celebration venues and tourist destinations are COVID-safe. Photo: Chanat Katanyu.

Dancers in Santa Claus costumes invite people to a New Year event in Bangkok. The Disease Control Department issued an assurance today (Dec 15) that celebration venues and tourist destinations are COVID-safe. Photo: Chanat Katanyu.

“Today there is no outbreak area in Thailand. So, celebration activities can go ahead as long as organisers and attendees obey preventive measures,” director-general Dr Opas Kankawinpong said.

He advised event organisers to screen visitors’ health, provide alcohol gel, disinfect surfaces and ensure social distancing is followed, and that visitors wear face masks and use the Thaichana check-in and checkout app.

“New Year countdown events can be held. Visits to performances can be arranged in groups of about 10, with distancing between them. So, even if the disease is transmitted, health officials can handle that effectively on a group-by-group basis,” Dr Opas said.

Addressing concerns about COVID-19 among returnees from Myanmar, the director-general said there not been a local infection for about 10 days in the provinces where Tachilek-related COVID-19 cases had been reported.

He referred to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phichit, Ratchaburi and Sing Buri, and said all recent COVID-19 cases in Chiang Rai were quarantined returnees.

CMI - Thailand

“These provinces have returned to normal. There is not a concern. These provinces are safe, but officials must continue to be strict in doing their duty,” Dr Opas said.

All provinces were safe for tourists, he said. No visitors to any province would be quarantined on their return.

Regarding the local COVID-19 infection among nurses at BNH Hospital, Dr Jakarat Pitayawong-anont, the department’s epidemiology director, said one nurse caught COVID-19 from close contact with arrivals in quarantine, and later transmitted the disease to six other nurses when they were off duty.

A total of 851 hospital staff were examined, and all tested negative for COVID-19, Dr Jakarat said.

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