Thailand may reduce COVID-19 quarantine period from 14 to 10 days
Thailand’s National Communicable Diseases Committee (NCDC) has agreed, in principle, to reduce the 14-day mandatory quarantine period, for people arriving from abroad and people suspected of carrying coronavirus, to 10 days. It also agreed to tighten up safety measures at quarantine facilities and increase tracing of those who complete their quarantine period.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who chaired the meeting of the committee today, said that their decision to reduce the mandatory quarantine period will be submitted to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) for consideration.
He noted that Thailand has the capacity, including medicines, laboratories, medical personnel and other resources, to contain the spread of COVID-19. More importantly, there is not a single severe case currently in hospital and the country has a coronavirus fatality rate of less than 2%, with most of the new cases being imported.
He said that the committee agreed to the 4 day reduction in the quarantine period and, instead, placed emphasis on safety at quarantine facilities and the tracing of people who were quarantined.
The NCDC also approved a National Quarantine Policy, to accommodate the opening of the country to foreign tourists, to help boost economic recovery in the long run, said Mr. Anutin.
The National Quarantine Policy incorporates the setting up of safe and standardized quarantine facilities, for those who are in close contact with the infected or suspected carriers, the development of uniform management of quarantine systems, to be applied to all quarantine facilities at both national and local levels under the supervision of the NCDC or provincial communicable diseases committees, the development of an integrated management system, to support the work of all agencies, and a data system that can track previous cases effectively.
According to studies of COVID-19 infections, if a person is quarantined for 14 days, there is a 1% chance that an infected person will not show any symptoms. If quarantined for ten days, the chance of not showing symptoms is 5%, and 20% for seven days.