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COVID-19 Cases Decline Despite Surge of Foreign Tourists

Published: January 30, 2023 at 1:39 pm

airport officials welcome tourists

Good development for the tourism industry as the number of foreign tourist arrivals has increased while the number of Covid-19 cases has declined. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports that 914,746 of the 1,342,365 foreigners arrived in Thailand between January 1 and January 21.

The main tourist groups are from Russia, Malaysia, India, South Korea, and Laos.

This surge in overseas arrivals is likely attributable to Thailand’s loosening of immigration controls and China’s lifting of outbound travel restrictions.

Last week, COVID cases reached 627 hospitalizations, and 44 deaths were recorded. This is a decline from the previous week, with 65 fatalities and 969 new cases.

Furthermore, eight visitors from China, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, and Myanmar, among others, have tested positive for COVID-19 since January 8.

The Department of Medical Sciences has identified the BA.2.75 sub-variant of the Omicron strain as being responsible for 86% of cases in the country, as well as a domestic subvariant. A pulmonologist at Vichaiyut Hospital has warned of the potential for a new outbreak of infections due to the newly imported XBB.1.5 strain.

The government is aware of the XBB.1.5 sub-variant of the coronavirus, which was first detected in India in August and is more transmissible and has the potential to overcome antibodies. However, it is less severe in individuals that have been vaccinated or have been previously exposed to the virus. The government thus encourages everyone to be vaccinated.

In Bangkok, Governor Chadchart Sittipunt has taken strict measures to control the spread of the virus, such as confining visitors from abroad who test positive for the virus in City Hall hospitals. Despite this, the number of Covid cases identified daily is still low, which indicates that the situation is not as severe as it could be. The government is making an effort to manage the virus while also keeping the economy afloat.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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