Covid-19: Thailand steps up contact tracing after three quarantine flouters test positive

BANGKOK (Bernama): Thailand is racing against time to trace contacts to prevent a new wave of Covid-19 after three Thai nationals tested positive days after entering the kingdom illegally from Myanmar and skipping compulsory quarantine at state facilities.

In the latest development, two Thai women, aged 23 and 26, who bypassed immigration checks were tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday (Nov 29).

On Tuesday (Nov 24), a 29-year-old Thai woman returned from Myanmar to Mae Sai in Chiang Rai via the land border, and later boarded a public bus to Chiang Mai. The woman skipped compulsory quarantine and tested positive days later.

Chiang Rai Public Health chief Thossathep Boonthong said when identifying the first case’s close contacts, health officials traced her two colleagues who worked at the same entertainment outlet at the border town of Tachileik in Myanmar.

"Public Health officials have identified at least 30 people who were possibly in contact with the two new patients, ” he said at a press conference Monday (Nov 30).

Meanwhile, Chiang Rai Governor Prachon Pratsakul said Public Health officials have identified at least 356 people in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai who might have been exposed to the three new patients.

They included customers of a shopping mall, cinema, restaurant as well as van and public bus passengers and drivers.

He said Public Health officials have stepped up screening to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the kingdom.

Local media reported that more than 150 people in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai have undergone screening and tested negative for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Prachon said Thais working at the Thailand-Myanmar border town wanted to return home after Myanmar imposed a curfew from midnight to 4am to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

He added that some had fallen sick and wanted to return home for treatment.

"However, many chose to cross the borders illegally. Therefore, we hope Thais who wish to return home would come forward and use legal channels to enter the country to prevent a new Covid-19 outbreak, ” he said.

Over the last 24 hours, Thailand recorded 21 new Covid-19 cases and zero fatalities, bringing the tally in the kingdom to 3,998 cases and 60 fatalities. - Bernama

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Thailand , Covid-19 , Myanmar , Quarantine


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