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Phuket Airport Ready to Welcome Foreign Long Stay Tourists

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Airport Authorities in the southern Thailand’s resort Island of Phuket are implementing the 5T Model for COVID-19 screenings. Health authorities have already set up a COVID-19 test lab at its airport and are now ready to welcome foreign tourists.

Phuket’s health chief Dr Thanit Sermkaew said the 5T Model consisted of Target, Testing, Tracing, Treating and Trusting.

Target means the target groups of visitors. Testing refers to tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 including tests on arrivals right at Phuket airport.

Tracing stands for application software to monitor the movements of tourists. Treating shows the readiness of medical treatment and resources and Trusting represents communications to create confidence among all parties and foreigners.

The Office of Disease Prevention and Control 11 in Nakhon Si Thammarat province installed the COVID-19 lab container module at Terminal X of Phuket airport on Sept 24. Its system will be tested on Sept 28 and the laboratory was set to start its operation on Sept 30.

The lab is capable of testing 96 people at a time and test results will be known in six hours. Dr Thanit said that its capacity should be adequate to serve initial arrivals of long stay tourists.

7 Day Covid-19 Quarantine for Tourists

Meanwhile, A spokesperson for Thailand’s Prime Ministers Office  has said the suggestion by the Minister of Tourism to reduce the quarantine period for tourists has yet to be considered. The Minister of Tourism has suggested a 7 day quarantine possibly in November. Currently tourists are having to spend 14 days in quarantine.

Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy government spokesperson, said that Tourism Ministrr Pipat Ratchakitprakarn’s proposal to reduce quarantine for tourists to seven days was not being considered as of now, and measures to ease restrictions would be implemented only when the situation gets better.

The Special Tourist Visa scheme will be discussed by a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on September 28, chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Dr Thira Woratanarat, from the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, expressed his concern in a Facebook post. He said global virus cases now averaged 350,000 per day, a million every three days.

Many European countries, including France, the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Iran, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia continued to add thousands of new cases while Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Myanmar, Singapore and Australia were adding hundreds per day.

“In Thailand, if we decide to follow the proposal to reduce the quarantine time to seven days, it would be an invitation to disaster,” Thira told Asia One.

Three new Covid-19 cases all tourists

Three new Covid-19 cases were foreigners from Luxembourg, Turkey and Albania in quarantine. Bringing the total to 3,522 cases.

All three patients were asymptomatic and stayed at self-paid alternative state quarantine facilities, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Saturday.

Two of them were airline crew members whose test results came after they left the country on Thursday. They were a German, 49, who flew from Luxembourg on Sunday and stayed at a facility in Chon Buri province, and a Turkish man, 51, who arrived the next day from his home country and stayed at a facility, also in Chon Buri.

The other was a 51-year-old Albanian teacher who was staying at an ASQ facility in Bangkok after he arrived on Monday. He tested positive on Thursday.

Of the total 3,522 cases, 3,362 (95.5%) had recovered, including two discharged over the past 24 hours, and 101 others were in hospitals. The death toll has remained at 59.

The Foreign Ministry said another 357 people would arrive in Thailand on five flights on Saturday — from Norway (157), Switzerland (92), the United States (79), Cambodia (16) and the United Arab Emirates (13).

Global Covid-19 cases rose 317,937 in 24 hours to 32.75 million. The death toll was up 5,808 to 993, 413. US had the most cases, 7.24 million, up 53,629.

Second was India with 5.90 million cases, up by 85,458. Brazil was third with 4.69 million cases, up by 32,670. Thailand ranked 137th, the CCSA said.

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