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Authorities Alarmed By Tourists Tested Positive Upon Arrival

Published: February 4, 2022 at 7:18 pm

travelers in phuket international airport

Authorities in Phuket have voiced concern over the number of international visitors who tested positive upon arrival, blaming allegedly false RT PCR test results before their departure. Deputy governor Pichet Panapong discussed the problem during a conference with the CCSA, urging the government’s task force against COVID-19 to strengthen screening procedures for arrivals overseas.

“It is suspected that false COVID-19 RT-PCR test findings contributed to the increase of post-arrival positive tests among visitors. These are issues that are beyond the jurisdiction of Phuket and assistance from the CCSA’s operations center is needed.”

Some travelers are also coming with antigen test results even though pre-departure RT PCR testing is required.  Phuket has now requested that Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority should issue a warning to airline companies who allow travelers to fly even without required documents.

Pichet is also concerned that the number of infected travelers will continue to rise as more individuals register for the reintroduced Test & Go entry program.  If this occurs, the island’s hospitels and hospital isolation facilities will be burdened.

Dr. Veerasak Lorthongkham, head of Vachira Phuket Hospital, reports a 3% infection rate from day one testing on incoming tourists.  He said that although the issue is currently under control even the rate exceeds 5%, hospitel and hotel isolation rooms risk being overwhelmed.

The CCSA estimated that up to 40% who registered for Test & Go would travel to Phuket on the first day of its re-opening.  Thailand received 7,742 international visitors this week wherein 344 are tested positive upon arrival.

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Source: Bangkok Post

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