152 sought for quarantine report to authorities: police

152 sought for quarantine report to authorities: police

Immigration officers try to negotiate with Thai travellers who landed back in the country at Suvarnabhumi airport on Friday, saying they had not heard the government's request for overseas Thais to delay their trips back home. (Immigration Bureau photo)
Immigration officers try to negotiate with Thai travellers who landed back in the country at Suvarnabhumi airport on Friday, saying they had not heard the government's request for overseas Thais to delay their trips back home. (Immigration Bureau photo)

All 152 Thai people mistakenly allowed to go home after returning to the country on Friday have reported to the authorities as requested, police said on Saturday.

Of the 152, 104 reported to the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) at Suvarnabhumi airport and 48 others at the Damrongtham Centre in their home provinces, said assistant police chief Piya Uthayo, who is also the police spokesman.

On April 3, a total of 158 Thais arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on five flights -- three from Japan and one each from Singapore and Qatar.

Health officials reportedly explained to them that they were required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at facilities arranged for them by the state under the emergency decree.

But only six of them agreed to be sent to a hotel in Bangkok, a quarantine location prepared by authorities, according to reports. The 152 others were said to have refused to cooperate, saying they had not been informed about it in advance, and a commotion erupted.

Maj Gen Kosol Choojai, who was in charge of the EOC at Suvarnabhumi, met them for talks and then allowed them to go home. 

On Saturday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. 

It was decided at the meeting that the 152 Thais who had returned to their homes must report themselves to the EOC at Suvarnabhumi or the Damrongtham Centre in their provinces by 6pm on Saturday for state quarantine.

A military source said Maj Gen Kosol, who allowed the 152 passengers to go home, was replaced by another officer, Gen Paripat Palasin. He would face an investigation for his handling of the situation, the source said.

An earlier version of this story suggested that the 152 had refused to enter quarantine, but a widely-shared video clip appears to show they were allowed to return to their homes by authorities.


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