All provinces Covid-safe, says disease dept chief

All provinces Covid-safe, says disease dept chief

All provinces are Covid-safe for tourists, and people can enjoy the New Year celebrations, as local infections at a Bangkok hospital and imported cases from Tachileik are all under control, the Disease Control Department announced yesterday.

"Today there are no outbreak areas in Thailand. So, celebration activities can go ahead as long as organisers and attendees obey preventive measures," director-general Dr Opas Kankawinpong said.

He advised event organisers to screen visitors' health, provide alcohol gel, disinfect surfaces and ensure social distancing, and that visitors wear face masks and use the Thai Chana check-in and checkout app.

"New Year countdown events can be held. Trips to performances can be arranged in groups of about 10, with distancing between groups. So, even if the disease is transmitted, health officials can handle that effectively on a group-by-group basis," Dr Opas said.

Addressing concerns about Covid-19 among returnees from Myanmar, the director-general said there had not been a local infection for about 10 days in the provinces where Tachileik-related Covid-19 cases had been reported.

He was referring to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phichit, Ratchaburi and Sing Buri, and said all recent Covid-19 cases in Chiang Rai were quarantined returnees.

"These provinces have returned to normal. There is no concern. These provinces are safe, but officials must continue to be strict in doing their duty," Dr Opas said.

No visitors to any province will be quarantined on their return, he added.

Regarding the local Covid-19 infection among nurses at BNH Hospital, Dr Jakarat Pitayawong-anont, the department's epidemiology director, said one nurse caught Covid-19 from close contact with arrivals in quarantine, and later transmitted the disease to six other nurses when they were off duty. A total of 851 hospital staff were examined, and all tested negative for Covid-19, Dr Jakarat said.

Meanwhile, Nakhon Ratchasima provincial police chief Pol Maj Gen Pornchai Nalawachai said yesterday the provincial police would expedite its investigation into the Big Mountain Music Festival, the organisers of which were accused of violating the province's disease control order. The concert organisers are expected to be summoned within two days.

The Nakhon Ratchasima governor filed complaints with the Pak Chong police against concert organisers for violating the provincial disease control committee's order to stop the concert.

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