‘Little ghosts’ spark virus fears
Prayut calls assembly over Korea returnees
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will name an pressing assembly on Wednesday to debate what to do about 10,000 unlawful Thai staff he believes might attempt to return dwelling from South Korea to flee the Covid-19 epidemic there.
The transfer got here after the Ministry of Public Well being on Monday expressed critical considerations about learn how to deal with droves of so-called phi noi (little ghosts) from South Korea after 138 Thais who had been airlifted from Wuhan in China final month needed to spend two weeks in quarantine in Sattahip.
It stays to be seen what number of can be allowed to return dwelling, Gen Prayut mentioned, including that South Korea will quarantine the employees for 14 days earlier than letting them return to Thailand, and once they arrive in Thailand, they will count on one other 14 days of probably self-quarantine.
The Overseas Affairs Ministry mentioned the South Korea Immigration Workplace handed on info that greater than 5,000 Thais reported to the workplace from December final 12 months to March 1 wishing to return dwelling.
“The issue is learn how to management such numerous individuals if all of them are to be quarantined. The federal government should discover correct measures. I realise that the individuals are not assured and scared … However public well being officers and medical personnel are well-prepared,” the prime minister mentioned.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob mentioned on Tuesday the ministry will suggest an motion plan to deal with Thai staff coming back from the South Korean metropolis of Daegu to the assembly.
Though the prime minister mentioned there are 10,000 phi noi in South Korea, some estimates put the quantity a lot larger at 140,000.
Beneath the plan, a particular zone can be organized at Suvarnabhumi airport to display the Thai returnees. These displaying any signs can be despatched to hospital instantly whereas these with no indicators of the virus can be requested to quarantine themselves at dwelling for 14 days, Mr Saksayam mentioned.
He went on to say that he has instructed the Land Transport Division and the Transport Co to supply free buses to take asymptomatic staff dwelling.
“The rationale why we will be unable to quarantine Thai passengers [from South Korea] in a selected space, just like the method for the Wuhan returnees is that the quantity could be very a lot bigger. We now have no area to accommodate them,” Mr Saksayam mentioned.
He additionally mentioned that the Transport Ministry will ask nationwide service Thai Airways Worldwide and personal airways to contemplate whether or not it’s attainable for them to ship plane to fly Thais in Daegu again dwelling freed from cost.
Earlier within the morning on Tuesday, Public Well being Minister Anutin Charnvirakul briefly confirmed an announcement signed by him on his Fb web page with a message that each one guests from 9 nations and two territories as high-risk zones can be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days with no exceptions.
The 11 nations and territories are Japan, Germany, South Korea, China, Taiwan, France, Singapore, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong and Macau.
Nonetheless, the put up was deleted minutes later with out clarification. The ministry later claimed the measures can be clarified in an additional announcement. As of press time no new details about these measures had been posted on the ministry’s web site.
In a associated improvement, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon instructed reporters earlier there was no regulation in impact at the moment that may drive anybody to isolate themselves.
Suchart Pornchaiwisetkul, director-general of the Division of Employment, mentioned that Thai staff who return from nations hit by the Covid-19 are required to watch a 14-day self-quarantine.
He additionally mentioned that South Korea has granted a reprieve to unlawful staff who need to return dwelling voluntarily, they usually should report back to South Korean authorities by June 30.
Beneath the reprieve, South Korean authorities won’t ahead the names of those unlawful staff to their governments to present them a chance to return to South Korea as authorized staff, Mr Suchart mentioned,
Public well being volunteers working below the Ministry of Public Well being can be requested to maintain monitor of unlawful staff who return from the world’s second-worst Covid-19-hit nation to be sure that their well being statuses are all recorded precisely, in line with Mr Suchart.
Dr Opart Karnkawinpong, chief of the Division of Medical Sciences who on Tuesday chaired the ministry’s each day press convention, mentioned that the ministry will ask public well being volunteers countrywide to assist the ministry’s efforts to watch these staff and ensure they adhere to the 14-day self-quarantine.
“We now have a million public well being volunteers who will play a key function in monitoring these suspected of getting the virus on the native degree. They will straight go to sufferers at dwelling with helpful options.
“What we’d like now’s the names of these staff so we are able to go and ring the bell at their properties.”