Oct 1 reopening up in air

Oct 1 reopening up in air

People in Nonthaburi sit apart from one another distancing as they wait to be vaccinated with Sinopharm jabs. The municipality has made walk-in vaccinations available from Wednesday to Sunday for Nonthaburi residents. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
People in Nonthaburi sit apart from one another distancing as they wait to be vaccinated with Sinopharm jabs. The municipality has made walk-in vaccinations available from Wednesday to Sunday for Nonthaburi residents. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Public Health Ministry on Thursday responded to concerns raised by academics over the government's plan to reopen the country to vaccinated foreign tourists starting next month.

The plan is in line with the pledge which Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made in June to welcome vaccinated tourists within 120 days. However, some critics, including academics, have said the government may be acting too early.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday said medical experts and the Department of Disease Control (DDC) must decide whether the country is ready to reopen.

"We cannot order [the reopening] yet because we must investigate academic information and make an assessment."

The Covid-19 situation in countries which foreigners may depart from must be taken into account, he said, adding the DDC will make an assessment and present it to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

"If we are not ready, the reopening will not be possible," Mr Anutin said.

Responding to criticism that an Oct 1 reopening may be premature, Mr Anutin said: "No one said the country will reopen on Oct 1."

Most Bangkok residents are still waiting for their second jabs and these cannot be given to most of them in time for Oct 1, Bangkok's governor said.

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Vocabulary

  • academic: someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job - นักวิชาการ
  • assessment: a judgment or opinion - การประเมิน
  • critic: a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly - ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
  • decide (verb): to think carefully about the different possibilities that are available and choose one of them - ตัดสินใจ
  • depart: to leave - ออกจาก
  • investigate: to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it - ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
  • pledge: a serious promise - คำมั่้นสัญญา
  • premature: happening too soon  - เร็วเกินไป
  • up in the air: uncertain; undecided -
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