As Thailand continues to reopen the country after a draconian lockdown many health officials worry over a second wave of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. Lawmakers and health officials are now arguing over the Travel bubbles.
Some lawmakers in Thailand are saying Travel bubbles for general tourism may not become fact anytime soon. Saying the first people to benefit are likely to be working professionals. Also people attending international meetings, senior officials said on Wednesday.
Gen. Somsak Roongsita, secretary-general of the National Security Council and head of the government’s committee on disease control relaxation, said the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) had not yet made a decision on Travel Bubbles.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, as the CCSA director, doctors and security officials were concerned about the possible implications, and emphasized public health over tourism.
Travel bubbles for business people first
“Many countries have approached us for travel pairing, but Thailand must prioritize public health. Measures to control Covid-19 in those countries will be studied… There must be thorough discussions, which may continue into next month,” Gen Somsak said.
A government source said the government would assess possible revenue from the travel bubbles proposal, the possible impact on local people from any undetected, infected visitors, and other likely damage.
It would also consider the reaction of local people to foreign visitors. Also possible claims of discrimination between Thai returnees, who must enter quarantine, and foreign travellers. Even more between countries inside and outside the travel bubbles that lawmakers choose.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said he would propose the travel bubble plan to the prime minister next week. He also said travel bubble pairing would apply to countries where Covid-19 is not spreading, the Bangkok Post reports.
Travel bubbles would be initially for people attending international meetings and training sessions, engineers and technicians, and foreign teachers returning to work at international schools in Thailand. They would not be for foreign tourists, he said.
No local Covid-19 transmissions for 23 days
The government on Wednesday reported there were no new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus. And above all Thailand has been free of local infection for 23 days.
Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said there were no new cases among local people or quarantined returnees.
“We have been free of local infection for 23 days. Academics say the ideal infection-free period is twice the 14-day period, which is 28 days.
“Please keep using face masks in order to make the record good for Thailand and the world,” he said.
The total Covid-19 cases remained unchanged at 3,135, 2,996 (95.57%) of whom had recovered. Eighty-one patients were at hospitals. The death toll was again unchanged, at 58.
Dr Taweesilp said 41,345 returnees had been quarantined and 198 of them were found infected. At present, 10,285 also remained at quarantine facilities.