Quarantine for some returnees from Korea
published : 4 Mar 2020 at 16:30
updated: 4 Mar 2020 at 16:48
The government has decided to quarantine Thais returning home from working illegally in one province of South Korea - Gyoengsang and its capital Daegu, the centre of an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said at Government House on Wednesday the returnees would be first screened in South Korea. Those with a fever would not be allowed to board a flight to Thailand.
On arrival in Thailand they would be quarantined for 14 days.
Workers from other areas of South Korea who had no fever would be allowed to return to their homes, and would be monitored. Those who develop a fever would be taken to designated hospitals for immediate treatment, Gen Prayut said.
This clarified earlier reports of which workers would be affected.
Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said screening for workers returning from South Korea would be the same as that applied to returnees from China, because South Korea has the highest number of Covid-19 cases outside China.
Such strict measures were aimed at protecting the Thai public from an epidemic.
Thais working illegally and taking advantage of the Seoul government's dispensation for them to depart without being charged or blacklisted need not return simultaneously. Most had been in South Korea a long time. The Foreign Ministry would arrange for their return, Dr Suwannachai said.
He gave an assurance that health officials were effectively following up on workers who had already returned from South Korea.
The Public Health Ministry would select quarantine facilities from a list of prepared locations, he said.
A source said the army had ordered provincial military circles to prepare facilities for use as quarantine centres.