The health ministry was responsible for allowing an Egyptian military delegation later found to include an officer infected with Covid-19 to go shopping in Rayong during their stopover in Thailand, air force chief ACM Manat Wongwat said on Tuesday
A stopover by a military airplane on a long-haul flight for refueling and to rest the crew and passengers was normal international practice, ACM Manat said.
The role of the air force was to approve or disapprove a stopover request by a plane carrying a military delegation. The health ministry was responsible for coronavirus checks and quarantine.
He was responding to news reports that members of an Egyptian military delegation headed to China who stopped over in Rayong had visited a local shopping centre. One of them was later found to be infected with Covid-19 disease.
ACM Manat said when the Foreign Ministry received a stopover request from an embassy it was forwarded to the air force for approval.
If approved, the air force sent the matter back to the Foreign Ministry, which then advised the embassy to coordinate the stopover with a destination airport.
The embassy and the Foreign Ministry would settle on communicable disease prevention measures in accordance with the executive decree on public administration in emergency situations, and the requirements of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, ACM Manat said.
During the immigration process, an emergency operation centre (EOC) at the destination airport would screen the visitors' health and arrange for quarantine, he said.
The EOCs are under the supervision of the Public Health Ministry.