11 July 2024

An urgent announcement was issued today by the Governor of Thailand’s southern border province of Yala, calling on people, who went to the Muang district railway station to receive rice and dried food donations on Tuesday, to report immediately to health officials for COVID-19 screening.

The donations were organized by a group of railway officials, who raised funds among themselves to buy goods for distribution to people in the province who are deprived of their normal earnings by the restrictions imposed to contain the pandemic.

The station was packed with people arriving to receive the donations, ignoring the social distancing requirement and prompting concern that they were at risk of being exposed to the virus.

The State Railway of Thailand issued a statement today, offering an apology for the incident, saying that the donations were organized by officials at the railway station without the prior acknowledgement of the management.

The SRT promised an investigation and has instructed all its officials to observe strict social distancing.

Meanwhile, the first group of 75 Thais, who returned from abroad and entered state quarantine in Bangkok, were sent home today after completing their 14 days of isolation. They were seen off at an informal ceremony, chaired by Deputy Bangkok Governor Sakonthee Bhattiyakul.

The 38 men and 37 women have tested negative for COVID-19. They were each given two face masks, two bottles of sanitizer gel, two bottles of alcohol spray and a manual on anti-viral measures to be practiced at home.

The second group of 27 quarantined returnees will be discharged on Saturday.