PUBLIC Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said today (Dec. 21) that as many as 200,000 tourists have to be taken care of before any new steps against the Omicron variant of coronavirus could be taken, Sanook.com said.
Despite shopkeepers opposing the cancellation of the Test & Go entry procedure, the Disease Control Department is looking for the best and least impactful measures to implement taking into account all dimensions but the most important factor is the safety of the Thai people, he said.
This is particularly important because there are 97 more cases of possible Omicron infection awaiting confirmation.
Anutin revealed that medical teams had proposed that Thailand stop letting tourists come in but after discussions with all parties it was concluded that there are still almost 200,000 tourists that have to go through before any steps could be taken
Regarding locking down the country again, the minister said the World Health Organisation had not asked countries to halt overseas travel during the New Year holidays and as far as possible a lockdown will be avoided.
The issue of scrapping Test & Go entry procedure will be discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting with the initial details to then be taken into consideration by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) executive committee within this week.
Meanwhile the Public Health Ministry said this morning that there were 2,476 Covid cases and 32 deaths over the past 24 hours taking the cumulative confirmed total since April to 2,167,666,
Another 3,649 patients were cured increasing total recoveries since April to 2,108,771 while 38,892 patients are still undergoing treatment.
Today’s 32 fatalities raised the death toll to 21,440.
Top: A doctor testing a vaccine in the laboratory. Photo: Nenad Stojkovic (CC BY 2.0)
Home Page: Public Health Minister Anutin talking to the press. Photo: Siam Rath