pinoythaiyo thailand monkeypox

Thailand steps up on screening arrivals to monitor monkeypox virus

As cases of monkeypox are being reported in the UK and elsewhere, officials at the Department of Disease Control (DDC) have introduced more strict rules on health screening for overseas arrivals.

International travelers will need to complete a health declaration card upon arrival in the kingdom.

The card has a QR code that when scanned contains information about the monkeypox and its symptoms, and how and where to report in Thailand in case symptoms become apparent.

A traveler who is detected with or has likely manifestations of the virus will be sent to a qualified hospital for treatment.

The DDC also had set up an emergency operations center (EOC) to monitor the said virus and asked immigration officials to be more strict for visitors coming from Central and West Africa, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal. The said places are where the monkeypox has been detected.

Dr. Chakkarat Pitayowonganon, director of DDC’s epidemiology division, told the media on Monday that the EOC will help in the screening of travelers who might have acquired the virus after traveling from countries with outbreaks.

Similar to Covid-19, monkeypox can be transmitted from person to person via close contact with lesions, bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials.

Dr. Chakkarat said that visible symptoms of monkeypox are rashes, raised spots that turn into blisters, and then scabs which will not be shown during the incubation period. This will make it possible for the infected visitor to pass the screening despite having the virus. However, Thailand officials will still look closely at passengers, especially from countries with outbreaks.

Early monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, swollen glands, chills, and exhaustion.