Public Health Ministry to ask CCSA to cut mandatory quarantine to 10 days
Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health will, in the next fortnight, propose to the CCSA a reduction in the mandatory quarantine period for foreign tourists from 14 to 10 days and then 7 days, in line with the COVID-19 situation in visitors’ home countries.
Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiartiphum Wongrachit said today the proposed reduction, to be worked out by the Diseases Control Department, would take into consideration public safety, adding that, for countries where the pandemic is widespread, the quarantine period will remain unchanged.
He expects the proposed change to come into effect within a month.
Dr. Kiartiphum said that Thailand has won worldwide recognition for its success in controlling the spread of coronavirus, with the number of total infections, to date, being about 3,600, despite the worst case scenario projected early this year, which put total infections at about 16.7 million.
He said that it is still necessary for Thailand to maintain its guard, although he believes any second wave of infections, if there is one, will not be as widespread as the first was earlier this year.
Regarding the plan to reopen the country to “selected” foreign tourist arrivals, Dr. Kiartiphum said he expects 85-90% of Thai people to wear face masks in public, to keep social distancing and to wash their hands with sanitizer regularly.
Meanwhile, Dr. Thares Karatnairaveewong, Director-General of the Health Service Support Department, said today that Koh Samui in Surat Thani, Phuket, Buri Ram and Chon Buri have been chosen as alternative local state quarantine centres for long-staying foreign tourists.
There are altogether 84 alternative state quarantine locations, 12 alternative local state quarantine facilities plus alternative hospital quarantines to accommodate foreign tourists.
To accommodate the infected, there will be 20,000 hospital beds throughout the country, including up to 400 beds for very sick patients in Bangkok and up to 1,700 beds in other provinces.
Also, there is enough Favipiravir for 8,900 patients and enough Remdesivir for 125 patients. There are also about 3,000 teams of health investigators who are expected to contain any outbreak within 3-4 weeks.