Thai workers returning from South Korea will be quarantined for 14 days

File photo from Thai Government

To allay Thai public concern over COVID-19 being spread by Thai workers returning from South Korea, Thailand’s Prime Minister confirmed today that all the returnees, from the cities of Daegu and Gyeongsang, will quarantined, for a mandatory 14 days, at appropriate facilities near their residences, whether they are infected with the virus or not.

Thai returnees from the other South Korean cities will undergo a 14-day home quarantine if they are not infected and do not exhibit flu-like symptoms upon their arrival at Thai airports.

The Prime Minister stressed that the Government has a duty of care for every Thai citizen, even if some worked illegally abroad, such as in South Korea.

All returnees from Wuhan in China were quarantined for 14 days, at the Sattahip naval base, for observation while the infected were sent to hospital for treatment.

The Prime Minister chaired an emergency meeting with several governmental agencies today, to discuss appropriate measures to cope with the return of Thai workers from South Korea and to allay public concern over a possible COVID-19 outbreak if some of the returnees are not properly quarantined.

At a news conference, after the emergency meeting, the Prime Minister asked the public to have faith in the stringent screening processes adopted in Thailand and overseas, noting that the Thais returning from South Korea were screened prior to boarding their flight, and those with a fever will be seated separately, with their own toilet and will be provided with face masks.

Upon arrival in Thailand, the workers will go through a further and tougher screening process.

Regarding the shortage of face masks, the Prime Minister said that an investigation is under way to find out whether the domestic shortage was caused by hoarding.

Total daily mask production from the existing 11 manufacturers is just over one million, of which 300,000 are allocated to the Public Health Ministry for distribution to medical personnel and the Government Pharmaceutical Organization.

“We are trying to find out where the other 700,000 are going. They may be being hoarded for export, because of the attractive market prices” said General Prayut.

He also hinted that tougher measures might be needed if the virus situation worsens.


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