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No COVID threat from Chinese, says DDC

BANGKOK: The arrival of more Chinese tourists in Thailand is unlikely to trigger a spike in the number of new COVID-19 infections, says the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 12 January 2023, 02:13PM

Officials welcome the first group of Chinese tourists to arrive in Thailand at Suvarnbhumi airport in Samut Prakan province on Jan 9. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

Officials welcome the first group of Chinese tourists to arrive in Thailand at Suvarnbhumi airport in Samut Prakan province on Jan 9. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

The department said it plans to assess the situation regarding coronavirus infections in two weeks’ time, reports the Bangkok Post.

At present, the average caseload is 900 per day, with the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition and requiring a respirator dropping, DDC director-general Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong said yesterday (Jan 11).

The country is now seeing eight deaths a day from the virus on average, he added.

Moreover, the number of cases after the New Year holidays has turned out to be lower than expected, he said.

Tourism businesses have been preparing themselves for an influx of tourists from China after the country lifted quarantine measures over the weekend. They and their staff have been fully vaccinated and have been practising the universal prevention measures, Dr Tares said.

As many Chinese are expected to tour religious sites, the DDC is working with the Ministry of Culture and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to make sure safety measures are in place.

At international airports, body temperature scanners have been installed, and disease control staff deployed to provide health advice to travellers who are either infected or suspected of being infected with the virus, he said.

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The same COVID-19 measures as those imposed on air travellers will apply to other foreign and Thai nationals entering Thailand by land through the border provinces such as Chiang Rai, Dr Tares said.

Tourists from countries like India and China that require a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test before they are allowed to return home must still have health insurance covering at least US$10,000 (B335,400) in COVID-19 treatment costs before they enter Thailand, he added.

As for COVID-19 vaccination services for foreign tourists, the DDC has designated at least two centres in Bangkok and one each in Phuket, Chon Buri and Chiang Mai.

The estimated cost is B800 for a shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine and B1,000 for the Pfizer vaccine.

Some 300,000 Chinese tourists are expected to arrive in the next three months, representing about 5% of international arrivals, Dr Tares said.

Deputy clerk Suksan Kittisupakorn said the BMA and the Ministry of Public Health have prepared more than 10,000 hospital beds for new COVID-19 patients.

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Pooliekev | 15 January 2023 - 13:14:50

@GeeryT81. Kurt just doesn't get anything I'm afraid. Plus he thinks Thailand is rubbish, heaven knows why. 

GerryT81 | 14 January 2023 - 21:14:42

Kurt, have you ever heard about sarcasm ? Read KamalaPete's comment again and maybe you will get it ! No need to be a genius to understand actually.

Kurt | 14 January 2023 - 09:24:21

Sorry Kamala Pete, I do believe the film+ comment reporting of CNN more than your/Haralds reaction. What we have seen were Covid patients, not landslide victims. That could never be the enormous numbers overwelming the hospitals  suffering now.

christysweet | 13 January 2023 - 12:39:58

I will agree but only because they wear masks. They are certainly  going to be carrying Covid and will transmit it to hotel staff. 

DeKaaskopp | 13 January 2023 - 12:29:51

Yes Kurt, time to get prepared. As those Chinese tourists will come with their deadly virus,you better keep staying home watching CNN until they inform you about any improvement of the situation. 

Kamala Pete | 13 January 2023 - 12:16:58

Kurt - as Harald would tell you if you would only listen, all those chinese hospitals and crematoria are packed with landslide victims !

solar_serfer | 13 January 2023 - 09:26:12

how is giving advice to infectedsuspected to be infected person would prevent them from infecting all around them? what utter nonsence is this. who's statement is this? name a doctorperson? Public should know 

Kurt | 13 January 2023 - 08:10:50

CNN film material: Chinese hospitals overwelmed. Covid patients in every corridor and corner waiting treatment, many die before getting treatment. Pharmacies shelves are empty. Many chinese ask: "For what we suffered a long time Zero Covid policy"? We are dying now. And for China did mr Anutin opened the tourist flood gates?

Kurt | 12 January 2023 - 21:27:39

CNN report, with film material, today: Signs of enormous rising Covid death toll crow in China. Crematoriums all over China can't coop, not prepared to handle all the covid deaths. Families have to que for cremation of their love ones.

Kurt | 12 January 2023 - 18:02:41

And we believe the nonsense DDC is spreading? They better keep quiet, just wait and see. If their based on nothing statement not comes true they just loose face. Anyway, nobody was looking out for a crystal ball statement of DDC. Typical urge of saying "we are here and PREDICT what is going to happen".  Keep it up!

maverick | 12 January 2023 - 14:38:11

During the last 3 years it has been impossible to predict anything about the Covid pandemic with any certainty until now - that’s really quite extraordinary even for Thailand 


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