Rapid Covid-19 test at airport, conditional easing of quarantine

IN A new move Suvarnabhumi Airport in cooperation with the Public Health Ministry has introduced rapid point-of-care Polymerized Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for Covid-19 within the complex with results available in 90 minutes, reported this afternoon (July 3, 2020).

While those getting a negative result would not have be placed in state quarantine, they would still have to be accompanied with medical staff if they wish to go anywhere during this period and are barred from going to public places and using public transport.

These 14 kits can check up to 28 persons an hour but not more than 200 a day at a cost of 3,000 baht per person with only diplomats not having to pay this fee.

Suvarnabhumi Airport director Suthirawat Suwannawat together with Dr Suwichit Thampalo, director of the International Communicable Disease Control Division, said the airport is getting ready for further relaxation in keeping with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announcement that both Thai and non-Thai travellers and aircraft would be allowed in as permitted by the Foreign Ministry, quoted Thai News Agency as saying.

This airport is conducting a pilot test on 200 Thai passengers arriving today and a waiting area has been arranged at the entrance of gates D3 and D4.  If all goes well these kits will be installed at all international airports across the country.

Dr Suwich said those who want to undergo PCR test at the airport would have to make arrangements with an agent and cover the cost of 3,000 baht a test, with only diplomats not having to pay.

Those who get negative result would not have to be placed in state quarantine for 14 days but if they want to go anywhere they have to be accompanied by medical staff with the cost covered through payment via the agent.

During the 14-day period they are not allowed to go to public places nor use public transport systems.


Top: A medical unit at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai headline says, “Result out in 90 minutes.” Photo:


TNR staff
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