Senior officials in the Rayong province as well as officials from the Ministry of Public Health have told the Thai public that rumors of Covid-19 checkpoints, quarantines, mass closures of business and other measures are false.
Additionally, one senior official went so far as to say that if anyone caught Covid19 in the province he would personally pay that person 100,000 baht.
The province is still struggling to recover after an Egyptian soldier broke quarantine rules last Saturday, July 11, and went shopping. Thousands of people have been tested for the Covid19 virus since then who were deemed as contacts of the man. So far, none have tested positive although many remain in quarantine. Twelve high risk contacts of the 43 year old man, including his personal taxi driver, have all tested negative.
The incident has resulted in the Thai Government adjusting the rules for so-called privileged groups of foreigners. This includes military, diplomats, air crew and other catagories that had exemptions to the countries strict government state quarantine policies.
Rayong saw as much as a ninety percent cancellation of tourist related bookings after the incident. The incident also heavily affected popular island Koh Samet and nearby Pattaya, although the soldier did not visit either area.
Piya Pitutecha, chief executive of Rayong Provincial Administrative Organisation, was so positive that nobody was infected with the Covid19 Coronavirus in the province that he personally offered 100,000 baht to anyone who tested positive, with evidence from the Ministry of Public Health.
Deputy Minister of Public Health Satit Pitutecha, meanwhile, said that there were no mandatory fourteen day quarantines for anyone visiting Rayong. He also said Rayong residents did not face mandatory fourteen day quarantines for leaving the province. He said he had spoken to governor’s across the country to reassure them the province was safe and not to impose any restrictions on Rayong visitors unless the person was a direct high risk contact of the Egyptian soldier. He added that all those contacts had been identified and were already in quarantine, thus there was no danger to the public or tourists.
Rayong officials also stated that the shopping mall the Egyptian soldier visited was throughly disinfected and has since reopened and is completely safe. The hotel the soldier stayed in remains closed, however, as an investigation on how the quarantine breach occurred continues.
Thailand has gone over fifty days without a single new confirmed locally spread case of Covid19.