Travel plans stopped due to coronavirus

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The Public Health Ministry’s new travel advisory for Japan and Singapore is sparking concern among Thai tourists, many of whom are asking tour operators to refund their tickets.

The ministry on Tuesday advised people to delay travelling to Japan and Singapore while the two countries grapple with deadly coronavirus (Covid-19). Those who cannot avoid visiting the two countries should take measures to protect themselves and prepare to be screened for the virus on their return in line with standard practices, said Sopon Iamsirithaworn, head of the Disease Control Department’s Communicable Disease Division.

Thai health authorities have extended coronavirus screening to cover visitors from Japan and Singapore after the countries reported local contagion cases. Last year Thais paid more than 1.3 million visits to Japan, which scored high on their list of top destinations.

Sukhum Kanchanapimai, permanent secretary for public health, said that the virus outbreaks in Japan and Singapore had reached “Stage 3”, of domestic transmission between locals with no record of meeting Chinese people. Thais who had visited the two countries in the past 14 days, and have fever or exhibit other symptoms, must visit a doctor and would receive treatment free of charge, he said.

Since Feb 1, some 31,336 Thais have travelled via Don Mueang airport to Japan and 6,545 Thais to Singapore, the Immigration Bureau reported on Tuesday.

Organisers of the Thailand Health Expo on Tuesday decided to reschedule the event from March 4-8 to Sept 2-6. Meanwhile, a 74-year-old Chinese woman who received a “Thai cocktail” of HIV and flu drugs was discharged from hospital on Tuesday after making a full recovery from severe Covid-19-related pneumonia .

Seventeen Covid-19 patients in Thailand have made a full recovery, while confirmed cases remained unchanged at 35 on Tuesday. Since Jan 3, a total of 817 patients have been placed under investigation for the virus and 82 hospitalised. To read more latest news from thailand

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