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Cracks Appearing in Thailand’s New Travel Bubble for Foreigners

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Thailand’s health department is taking urgent measures after foreigners infected with Covid-19 slipped through the new travel bubble. Health officials after investigation how the 2 covid-19 cases escaped proper security measure.

In the first case an Egyptian soldier confirmed to be infected with Covid-19 was found to have visited shopping malls in Rayong province.

Meanwhile, the family of a nine-year-old girl infected with Covid-19 is being investigated after its members were found to not be in embassy accommodation. They had been staying at an unnamed condominium in Bangkok.

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha will visit Rayong on today while a deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control will visit a condominium in Bangkok.

The visitors from Egypt stayed in Rayong en route to a one-day trip to China. They had military business in China, then returned to the province on their way home.

Both Covid-19 cases entered under travel bubble

All were allowed to enter the country, under the new travel bubble the health department reported. They were defined as air crew under the conditions set by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand. They were not asked to quarantine because they were coming for less than 14 days. However they were required to undergo covid-19 tests.

The general manager of U-Tapao airport, Vice Adm Kitchpol Rienglekjamnong, said only one member of the Egyptian group, a soldier, sneaked out to visit shopping centres. He later tested positive for Covid-19

The Bangkok Post reports social media erupted with the hashtag #โควิด (#Covd-19), and Drama-addict Facebook page, which has more than 2 million followers. Both urged authorities to reveal exactly which locations had been visited by the covid-19 infected Egyptian soldier.

The page said Thai people had the right to know in order to protect themselves. Thailand’s COVid-19 centre had at that stage only published the vaguest information, by identifying Rayong as the province visited.

Mr Sathit said later on Monday he would visit Rayong and check locations including; Central department store; Laem Thong shopping mall; and D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel.

Central Group on Monday announced it had checked and no Covid-19-infected patients visited their mall. The hotel said it had been informed by the Egyptian embassy that the group had passed Covid-19 screening.

3 new imported Covid-19 cases

On Monday Thailand recorded three new confirmed covid-19 cases, including the Egyptian soldier, and no new fatalities. The new cases were two Thais and  the Egyptian, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Thais arrived from Kuwait on June 29 and tested positive on Saturday while in state quarantine in Bangkok. Another arrived from Bahrain on Sunday and tested positive on arrival. The Egyptian, a soldier, arrived in Thailand on Wednesday and tested positive on Friday in Rayong.

The new findings raised total confirmed cases to 3,220, with the death toll remaining at 58.

Source: Bangkok Post

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