DEPUTY Prime Minister-cum-Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said today (Dec. 23) the Israeli tourist who fled quarantine at a Sukhumvit hotel and then went to Pattaya and on to Koh Samui where he has now tested negative for Covid-19 twice must still be prosecuted for refusing to wait for the initial test result that confirmed he had contracted the Omicron variant, TV Channel 7 and Sanook.com said today (Dec. 23).
He added that the tourist, identified as Mr. Ohad Baruch, 29, in not waiting for the initial test result and travelling to various places had violated Thai law . He will be given medical treatment according to the health insurance he had purchased until he recovers after which he has to face legal action. Even if he has not contracted the infection he still will be prosecuted.
“The other thing is that the hotel has to be responsible for letting him leave even though the operator had not yet received the RT-PCR test result.
“We have to look at the measures and quickly plug the loopholes. Don’t look upon this as a small matter because it is only one case. Should there be 50 cases it will be a huge mess,” Anutin said.
Meanwhile Dr. Supakit Sirilak, the head of Public Health Ministry’s Department of Medical Sciences, confirmed that the young Israeli man had contracted the Omicron variant with this being detected on Dec. 17 the first day the sample was tested and confirmed when it was sent to his department for a retest the next day.
As for the second and third tests at Koh Samui yielding negative results, he said this was because the viral load had started to decrease and the tourist is almost cured.
His samples arrived at this department for a retest at 9 a.m. today and the result should be out this afternoon.
He added that those who had close contact with the Israeli tourist on Dec. 17 and 18 are considered to be at high risk of catching the infection.
The Israeli tourist trying to check in at a Pattaya hotel and was refused a room. Photos: Sanook.com
Read earlier reports: Israeli tourist claims being cleared of infection by second test on Koh Samui