11 July 2024

Thailand’s Public Health Minister has signed an announcement designating COVID-19 as a dangerous infectious disease.

The announcement is to be published in the Royal Gazette and it is expected to come into force tomorrow (Friday).

The designation will provide authorities with additional powers to take action or to adopt measures to contain the spread of the virus, such as locking down a community, closing a venue affected by COVID-19 or forcing patients to undergo treatment.

Meanwhile, the 1422 hotline at the Disease Control Department was overwhelmed with more than 1,300 calls from people seeking advice on what to do after their return from abroad and have been cleared by airport screening.

Public Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Thaweesilp Wissanyothin, said that, in order to cope with the quantity of anticipated enquiries from the public, the Disease Control Department has opened a new online channel, the “Dr OK chat box”, through which people can file related questions.

He said that it was a social responsibility for every individual returning from abroad to monitor his or her health for 14 days and to see a doctor if they develop a fever or cough.

He warned that anyone who fails to comply with the mandatory quarantine will face a fine of between 20,000-500,000 baht.