Prayut self-isolates after Phuket exposure

Prayut self-isolates after Phuket exposure

Veerasak Pisanuwong, the Surin Chamber of Commerce chairman, poses for a photo with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during the Phuket reopening ceremony on Thursday. (Photo from Veerasak Pisanuwong Facebook account)
Veerasak Pisanuwong, the Surin Chamber of Commerce chairman, poses for a photo with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during the Phuket reopening ceremony on Thursday. (Photo from Veerasak Pisanuwong Facebook account)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will stay at home for a week after he came into close contact with a person who later tested positive for coronavirus during events held to mark the reopening of resort island Phuket to vaccinated foreign tourists.

The premier, who had been fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, will continue working as usual, including monitoring the coronavirus situation, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Monday.

“The result are not known yet since tests have just been conducted on him,” Mr Anucha said in a statement. “He will still carry out his duties normally and monitor developments closely.”

Gen Prayut's residence is inside the 11th Infantry Regiment compound in Bangkok's Bang Khen district where he has stayed since he was a senior army officer.

The decision came after Veerasak Pisanuwong, the Surin Chamber of Commerce chairman, confirmed he had tested positive for the virus after attending the Phuket reopening ceremony with Gen Prayut on July 1.  A selfie of the prime minister and Mr Veerasak was shown on the latter's Facebook.

Gen Prayut and several of his cabinet ministers were in the resort island on that day to welcome the first group of vaccinated foreign tourists, who will not be required to quarantine. The programme is part of a policy to gradually reopen the country and revive the economy. Thailand’s most-famous holiday destination has received 1,893 tourists since July 1, according to official data.

Thailand on Monday reported 6,166 new infections and 50 new deaths, which took total caseload and fatalities to 289,233 and 2,276, respectively. About 90% of the nation’s total infections are from the latest outbreak, which began early April. Bangkok remains the epicentre with the most daily cases reported each day.

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