Thailand: Two COVID-19 vaccination points for foreignt tourists to commence service next week

Bangkok, January 15 (NNT/VNA) - The Department of Disease Control (DDC) of Thailand indicated the COVID-19 situation after the New Year’s period is less troubling than earlier expected. However, the department will assess the situation again after the Lunar New Year period when Chinese tourists are expected to arrive in Thailand in numbers. Health authorities are also preparing to open vaccination points for foreign tourists next week, with the price of one vaccine shot to be in the range of 800-1000 baht.

DDC Director-General Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong spoke of monitoring measures for COVID-19 amid increasing foreign tourist numbers and with Chinese tourists now making up a significant portion of arrivals. He said airports are implementing rigorous screening measures for international arrivals and these measures will be expanded to land border crossings.

Dr. Tares said travelers who are required by their country of origin to take an RT-PCR test before re-entry would need to possess health insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment. At present, the countries requiring this are India and China.

Dr. Tares said the collection of wastewater from aircraft for testing so far yielded samples of the Omicron BA.5 strain, which is found in Thailand. Results from these random tests are yielded about one week after a flight.

In Bangkok, the DDC has prepared two vaccination sites for foreign tourists who want to get vaccinated. The first is the Bang Rak medical center on Sathong Tai Rd. The other is the Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention in Bang Khen district. The sites are expected to commence service next week and will also offer RT-PCR testing. Coordination is being made with health agencies in tourism cities such as Phuket, Chonburi, and Chiang Mai in setting up similar vaccine service points.

The DDC chief explained that international travelers who purchased health insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment will be able to get treatment at any hospital. They will also be able to enter hotel quarantine if they only display mild or no symptoms. Dr. Tares said there is currently no need to open hospitels for COVID patients./.

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