NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Soldiers returning home next week from a military exercise in Hawaii will be placed in state quarantine at a hotel in Bangkok, not in Nakhon Ratchasima as earlier planned, provincial governor Wichian Chantaranothai said on Wednesday.
Mr Wichian said he earlier approved a request from the 3rd Infantry Division to place 151 soldiers in quarantine at a hotel in Nakhon Ratchasima.
The soldiers are currently participating in a joint exercise with US forces, codenamed Lightning Forge 2020, at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii from July 1-21. They are due to return to Thailand on July 22.
The governor said the Sripattana Hotel on Suranaree road in Nakhon Ratchasima town was being readied for a 14-day "organisational quarantine", from July 22-Aug 6.
However, in an abrupt change, Maj Gen Sawarat Saengpol, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the 2nd Army, sent an urgent letter to him on Tuesday, informing the governor the planned quarantine in Nakhon Ratchasima had been cancelled.
Lt Gen Tanya Kiatisan, the 2nd Army commander, said the 151 soldiers will instead undergo health screening and 14-day state quarantine at a hotel arranged by the army in Bangkok.
The change follows the furore surrounding the discovery an Egyptian soldier later confirmed to be infected with Covid-19 was among members of a visiting military delegation who ignored quarantine and visited several locations, including shopping malls, in Rayong province during a stopover in Thailand.
The incident has prompted the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to review conditions allowing people with special exemptions to enter the country.