Shorter quar­an­tine to be de­bated

Bangkok Post - - FRONT PAGE - WASSANA NANUAM

The pan­demic sit­u­a­tion panel will con­sider the is­sue of ex­tend­ing the state of emer­gency and re­view reg­u­la­tions for vis­it­ing busi­ness­peo­ple and tourists next week.

Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha yes­ter­day re­vealed the agenda for the meet­ing of the Cen­tre for Covid-19 Sit­u­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CCSA) on Mon­day, one day ahead of the cab­i­net’s reg­u­lar weekly meet­ing.

He said many coun­tries had im­posed state of emer­gen­cies to cope with the coronaviru­s be­cause nor­mal laws were not ad­e­quate.

Thai­land was con­trol­ling the pan­demic well and many coun­tries looked to Thai­land as an ex­am­ple for ef­fec­tive dis­ease con­trol, he said.

The CCSA will con­sider whether to ex­tend the emer­gency for an­other month and re­view dis­ease con­trol mea­sures for busi­ness vis­i­tors and tourists.

“As there are eco­nomic prob­lems, of­fi­cials are con­sid­er­ing whether some mea­sures can be re­laxed,” he said. “Com­pa­nies need to send peo­ple here to su­per­vise their pro­duc­tion bases in Thai­land. How should we han­dle their short vis­its?”

The CCSA would also con­sider how to han­dle vis­its by for­eign­ers for tourism and med­i­cal treat­ment, and their quar­an­tine ar­range­ments.

Gen Prayut said the com­pul­sory 14-day state quar­an­tine could be short­ened for some groups of for­eign vis­i­tors but the govern­ment had not de­cided whether to de­crease it for all groups, adding that it was im­por­tant the coun­try ad­justed its mea­sures ac­cord­ingly.

The PM stressed the govern­ment had al­ways man­aged the Covid-19 sit­u­a­tion proac­tively and pre­pared ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures for var­i­ous groups of for­eign­ers want­ing to travel to Thai­land.

Tawee Chot­pi­taya­sunondh, an ad­viser to the Min­is­ter of Public Health, said no coun­try had ever cut the 14-day quar­an­tine to as short as seven days but some Euro­pean coun­tries plus South Korea and Sin­ga­pore had started to use a 10-day quar­an­tine.

Dr Tawee sug­gested a 10-day quar­an­tine be tri­alled in Thai­land and that af­ter anal­y­sis has been car­ried out, the govern­ment could then de­cide whether seven days was safe to try.

The to­tal num­ber of Covid-19 cases in Thai­land has risen to 3,519, of whom 3,360 (95.48%) have re­cov­ered.

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