Over 1,600 people test negative for Covid-19 following Rayong and Bangkok exempted foreigner cases


1,603 people so far have tested negative for the Covid-19 Coronavirus following two well publicized incidents involving foreigners who had quarantine “exemptions” over the last weekend in Thailand.

The incident, which has seen Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan O’Cha personally visit Rayong and apologize, has dominated news coverage across Thailand over the past several days.

Mass testing has taken place in Rayong and Bangkok involving both high risk and low risk contacts of an Egyptian soldier and a nine year old girl from Sudan who is a relative of a diplomat.  The first batch of testing, reported yesterday, of the highest risk groups, all show negative results so far.

A total of 1,603 people have now been tested and although all show negative results, all high and low risk contacts will face fourteen days of home self isolation monitored by local and national health authorities. A second Covid-19 test will take place later in their quarantine period as the incubation period of the virus can be up to fourteen days according to the Thai Ministry of Public Health.

Suwannachai  Wattanayingcharoenchai, chief of the Disease Control Department, said on Thursday that because the Egyptian soldier wore a mask when he breached quarantine and went shopping and did not interact or speak with anyone the chance of one catching Covid-19 from the 43 year old is very low.

An additional 1,252 people who either wanted to voluntarily take a Covid-19 test or were regarded as “extremely” low risk, were still pending test results according to Suwannachai.  He stated that these people fall into a category where they had no apparent contact or interaction with either Covid-19 infected person or were not even in the general area and therefore are considered very low risk.

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