PUBLIC Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul this morning (Dec. 5) ruled out another lockdown after several Covid-19 infected Thais sneaked back home from Tachileik border town in Myanmar pointing out that the infection arose from the same place and has not spread in all directions with the returnees to be encouraged to come in for tests without having to report to police, Siam Rath newspaper reported.
The spread of the infection from 1GI hotel in Tachileik where around 180 Thais work would be contained with facilitating their return and taking full care of them.
Infection had spread from the first group who slipped back to the country and officials are now tracking down those who had high-, medium- and low-risk contact with these patients, he said.
Asked whether the measures to contain this deadly disease which have been relaxed for many months would now be stepped up, Anutin replied that the public need not worry too much provided they wear face masks and maintain social distance.
He added that he did not think people today join big gatherings such as concerts. At the same time people could travel but must maintain protective measures when doing so.
Asked whether political gatherings would now be banned to control the spread of Covid-19, Anutin urged reporters not to mix the two issues as he was focusing on disease control not politics.
He stressed that control had to be maintained for another six months after which a vaccine would be available.
Both him and Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn will be going to give frontline workers encouragement soon.
Meanwhile the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced late morning that there were 19 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours with two being domestic ones and the rest overseas arrivals.
One domestic case each cropped up in Chiang Rai and Sing Buri provinces.
A total of six people came across to Thailand from Myanmar with two them immediately entering state quarantine while the other four did not initially do so but have now been so placed.
It was later reported that there is a new case in Mae Sot but test results are still being studied.
Of the overseas arrivals, three came from the US, two from Switzerland, and one each from Malaysia, India, Sweden, UK, the Netherlands and Mexico.
This takes the total to 4,072 cases with no additional deaths and the toll still standing at 60. Altogether 3,848 patients have been cured while 164 still remain in hospital.
Top: Public Health Minister Anutin talking to reporters at Sanam Luang this morning. Photo: Siam Rath