252 Thai and foreign travelers from eight southern African countries urged to seek RT-PCR tests for free immediately

National –

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) urged Thai and foreign visitors traveling from eight southern African countries from November 15th to the 27th to seek an RT-PCR test for free as soon as possible.

CCSA spokesperson Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin stated during the daily press briefing today, December 1st, that a total of 255 people traveling from eight African countries, namely Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, have arrived in Thailand under the “Sandbox” scheme from November 15th to the 27th.

Of that, 252 people are still staying in Thailand – three already left. 11 out of the remaining travelers are trackable via applications.

“Therefore, the Thai Administration prompted all of the 252 current visitors, both Thai and foreigners, to present themselves with the authorities and seek RT-PCR tests to detect the possible new Omicron Covid-19 variant for free,” Dr. Taweesilp stated.

So far, 27 countries have been found with Omicron Coronavirus variant infections. The infections were imported with most of them being arrivals returned from eight African countries.

TPN notes that although the variant is one of concern due to the number of mutations, the variant is still being studied and there is limited information on it, although the World Health Organization is asking for a cautious, calm response. The WHO has also criticized countries like Thailand who enacted travel bans, stating these are knee-jerk reactions that won’t stop the variant.

TPN notes that the CCSA also warned that if the 252 travelers do not voluntarily come in for a Covid-19 test, they could be in violation of strict current emergency decree laws in Thailand which carry major penalties such as high fines and potential prison time.


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National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.