The Thai Minister of Public Health announced on Tuesday, January 3rd, that Thailand will not implement lockdown or strict regulations in response to the easing of harsh travel restrictions that is soon to take effect in China next Sunday.
Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters that he has decided at a meeting with the Medical Affairs Committee that Thailand will not implement any specific measures against Chinese arrivals, as the country already has effective measures in place.
As for testing for the coronavirus, Mr. Anutin said it is “unnecessary,” adding if there is any medical issue, we leave it to the Department of Disease Control, which is responsible for disease prevention and surveillance, to determine the necessary measures without causing harm to the country’s economic system.
When asked whether he is worried about the new strain of the coronavirus that is wreaking havoc in China, Anutin confidently replied that he trusts the Thai medical professionals.
He said, “Thailand is able to effectively control the spread of the virus, illness, and deaths better than other countries. Thailand’s healthcare system is not inferior to anyone else’s, and when compared to other countries with higher infection and death rates, we are holding up well.”
The minister went on to say that, “The vaccines available in Thailand can still create immunity. I encourage Thai people to get a booster jab against Covid to have immunity.”
Anutin affirmed that there will be “no lockdown,” but, he also said there is no guarantee that there will not be a resurgence of the outbreak, thereby people should continue taking precautions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“I recommend that people get vaccinated when they have a chance. This can greatly help reduce the risk of serious illness or death from the virus,” said the public health minister.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha came out on Tuesday, January 3rd, to assure the public that Thailand already has effective measures to welcome Chinese travelers.
Gen Prayut told the press that, “People should not panic because Thailand’s preventive measures and healthcare system are top-notch. Also, Chinese arrivals will bring lots of income to the country.”
He also urged the public to practice what they have learned from the past handling of the outbreak and maintain regular precautions to keep themselves safe.
He said, “Many countries see Thailand as a model in handling with the Covid-19 pandemic, and we should maintain this standard.”