Thailand – As a result of growing worries about the spread of Omicron, Thailand is contemplating reinstituting strict quarantine for foreign visitors. The nation’s health ministry stated on Monday that the country has had its first incidence of local transmission of the coronavirus variant.
According to Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the public health ministry would propose eliminating a quarantine waiver for vaccinated travelers and reverting to hotel quarantine and a “sandbox” scheme, which permits unrestricted mobility in certain places.
As Anutin said on the Inside Thailand television program, the suggestion was prompted by concerns over Omicron’s proliferation. He added that the proposal would be submitted to the government’s Covid-19 taskforce “soon.”
Thai authorities reopened the country to foreign tourists in November, bringing an end to almost 18 months of tough entrance regulations that had led to a slump in tourism, a crucial sector and economic engine that attracted 40 million people in 2019.
According to Anutin, Thailand has so far identified 63 patients infected with the Omicron variant, with one instance of local transmission and the other cases imported from other countries.
It was revealed during a daily briefing that the first locally transmitted case was discovered in a Thai lady who tested positive for Omicron after catching the virus from her husband, a Colombian who had returned to Thailand from Nigeria in late November, according to a health ministry official.
“She is likely the first person in Thailand to get Omicron from an outside traveller, her husband, as well as the first instance of Omicron that has been locally transmitted,” according to Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, a disease control department officer.
He said that both the husband and wife had received full dosage of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The pair only had one high-risk contact, a taxi driver, who was quarantined and awaiting the results of a second coronavius test, which was scheduled on Wednesday, Chakrarat noted.