The Public Health Ministry urged members of the public to stay calm amidst fears of the Omicron variant having been found in many countries, saying that travelers recently arriving from Africa have not been cleared of quarantine.
Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said all 1,007 visitors from southern Africa who recently arrived in Thailand have tested negative for Covid-19 and are now kept in isolation under tourism sandbox programs.
According to the Department of Medical Sciences, Thailand has not detected the Omicron variant. All private hospitals are requested to submit specimens from all Covid patients to be genetically sequenced to identify each individual’s strain and its prevalence.
The emergence of the Omicron variant, first identified in Africa, triggered global alarm as the new mutation is potentially more transmissible.
The Thai government has imposed a total ban on arrivals from eight African countries including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi effective since Saturday. Meanwhile, those who already have permission to enter Thailand must arrive before December 15th and will be subject to state quarantine for 14 days and three Covid tests.
Photo: New York Times