Author Topic: covid-scare - Rayong businesses hit hard by Egyptian Covid scare  (Read 1023 times)

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Rayong businesses hit hard by Egyptian Covid scare


Shop owners close their shops in the Passione mall, formerly known as Laem Thong, for two days of cleaning after an Egyptian soldier visited the mall and was later confirmed infected with Covid-19.

Hotels and other businesses in Rayong province have suffered a further blow from news that a Covid-infected Egyptian soldier paid a short visit to the eastern coastal province.

Pradchaya Samalapa, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s committee on the Eastern region’s development, said the incident had taken a toll on local businesses.



“Hotels and resorts have been hard hit as travellers cancelled their bookings after the news broke,” he said  on Tuesday (July 14).

The government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) admitted on Monday that it had made errors in managing the entry of some groups of foreigners. The infected soldier was among a 31-strong delegation of Egyptian military personnel who landed at Rayong’s U-Tapao Airport last Wednesday and stayed in a local hotel and visited a local shopping mall. They were not subject to state quarantine, unlike Thais who return to the country. The group left Thailand on Saturday (July 11), but a test result the next day confirmed the soldier had Covid-19.

The incident sparked fear in the province of a second wave of virus infections.

Pradchaya said tourists had cancelled bookings in the province for the long holiday at the end of July.

Other businesses preparing to reopen after months of lockdown are also suffering, with workers now refusing to return to the province over fears of a second wave of contagion, he added.

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Re: covid-scare - Rayong Most schools close
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 09:25:54 AM »
Most schools in Rayong close as teachers went to places Egyptian soldier did
As many as 274 schools in Rayong have had to close because their teachers visited venues where they may have been at risk of contracting Covid-19, while the Education Ministry said it will restart online classes.

The 274 institutions that are having to close include 11 vocational colleges, 223 public schools, 32 private schools and eight informal educational institutes.

Meanwhile, Bangkok’s Samsenwittayalai School will close on Wednesday because one of its students had visited the hotel in Rayong where the Egyptian soldier who tested positive for Covid-19 had been staying. The student, meanwhile, is required to go into self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Sainampeung School in Bangkok’s Khlong Toei district will also be closed from July 15 to 17 because the director is worried about a second wave of infections caused by an “emergency situation” announced by the Education Ministry. It is believed he may be referring to the case of a nine-year-old Sudanese girl who tested positive for Covid-19 and stayed in a condominium near the school.

Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan said that nearly every school in Rayong has been closed, though preparations have been made for online classes in case there is a second-wave of Covid-19 infections.

He said classrooms may be entirely done away with if there’s a second-wave of infections as the ministry is prepared to conduct online lessons so students are able to complete their semester

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Re: covid-scare - Deputy Minister of Public Health visits Rayong
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2020, 10:14:43 AM »
Deputy Minister of Public Health visits Rayong



(NNT) - Because a visiting Egyptian soldier who tested positive to COVID-19 is known to have visited places in Rayong province in the company of other soldiers, the hotel where they stayed and some venues have now been closed. The authority has also brought a COVID-19 mobile lab to test people at the front of a mall that the soldier went to.


Mr. Sathit Pitutecha, Deputy Minister of Public Health, has visited Rayong province to attend a meeting and gain an update on the case of 31 Egyptian soldiers, who arranged to stay in the hotel but also visited the mall; one of them was subsequently confirmed to be COVID-19 positive. The Deputy Minister said that there is nothing to be worried about, and he believes that the situation can be handled satisfactorily. He will issue an update on the situation after the meeting.


In the meantime, the Deputy Minister also visited the mobile lab that is now parked in front of Passione Mall that the Egyptian soldiers visited. Many people were today queueing for the test. The results will be sent via SMS message.

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Re: covid-scare - CCSA cancels Egyptian military flights to Thailand
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2020, 12:01:21 PM »
CCSA cancels Egyptian military flights to Thailand



(NNT) - A meeting of the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) resolved to revoke its permission for eight military flights from Egypt to enter Thailand, and to rein in the issue of international arrivals.

On Tuesday (July 14), the CCSA meeting made several resolutions after some foreign very important persons (VIPs) were found to be infected with the virus.

The CCSA will revise its recent measures to ease restrictions on diplomats along with their spouses, parents and children.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to cancel permission for eight military flights from Egypt to enter the kingdom from July 17 to 20 and from July 25 to 29 this year.

The CCSA’s preliminary resolutions on international arrivals and state quarantine measures will be postponed in accordance with its 12th announcement, sections two, three and 11. The measures will be revised, so that they are more comprehensive and effective.

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Thai PM says news of Egyptian delegation incident was like being hit by a plane
Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, said today he felt as though he had been hit by a plane when he learned of the Egyptian military mission’s transgression of Thailand’s health safety protocols, as a nation-wide search for people who were in close contact with the Egyptian soldiers was launched.

During his opening speech, at the launch of an economic model for sustainable development, organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations on Wednesday, the Prime Minister explained his shock, after it was discovered that one member of the Egyptian military delegation, staying at a hotel in Rayong, was found to be infected with COVID-19, after several of them broke health regulations by visiting a local shopping mall.

He also expressed concern over the high-risk behavior of people frequenting night entertainment venues, warning them to exercise extra caution.

He stressed that it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as he urged his fellow countrymen to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to work together in nation building.

Accompanied by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and director-general of the Disease Control Department, the Prime Minister is due to fly to Rayong province by helicopter at 4pm today (Wednesday), to visit the Passione Mall, the D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel and a wet market, and to offer moral support to the townspeople.

Interior Permanent Secretary Chatchai Promlert issued an order today, to all provincial governors, to locate anyone in their respective provinces who was at Passione (formerly Laem Thong) Mall or D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel between July 8th and 10th and to ensure they are tested for COVID-19.

More than 1,000 residents of Rayong, including a van driver and a cabbie, have been given swab tests by health officials. Both the van driver, who took the Egyptians from U-tapao airport to the hotel, and the cabbie, who took some of the Egyptians from their hotel to the mall, have been cleared of the disease.

The honorary president of The Rayong Chamber of Commerce, Anuchita Chinsiriprapa, disclosed today that over 90% of hotel room and seminar bookings in the province have been cancelled, after news of the Egyptian incident went public.

She said, however, that hotel officials have tried to convince their customers, who made advance bookings, that their hotels are safe and not connected to the Egyptian delegation.

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Provincial governors told to hunt down people who visited Rayong
The Interior Ministry has instructed provincial governors nationwide to publicly announce that people who had travelled to Rayong on July 8 to 11 immediately contact the provincial public health office or call the Department of Disease Control (DDC)’s 1422 hotline.

This effort is to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as these individuals may have been in contact with an infected Egyptian soldier who was visiting the province.

The letter, signed by Interior Ministry’s permanent secretary Chatchai Promlert, instructed provincial governors to immediately find out who in their province had visited Rayong during the period the infected soldier was visiting different venues in the province’s main city.

“Provincial governors must proceed in line with measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 if they find people who were in contact with the patient in Rayong,” the letter read.

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Prayut heads to Rayong as Covid scandal roils local businesses
Owners of Rayong businesses today submitted a petition asking Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to visit the province and reassure residents over a visiting Egyptian soldier who was found to be infected with Covid-19 virus.

Local tourism and other businesses have been badly hit by fears of a second wave of infections after the Egyptian was exempted from quarantine requirements and went shopping in the city.

Prayut said today he will visit Rayong this evening in an effort to boost local morale.

The Rayong business representatives also urged the government to cancel the 14-day quarantine exemption granted to certain foreigners when they enter Thailand.

They said they had not demanded any compensation over the exempted Egyptian, but they want to see the government and Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) take responsibility by extending mandatory 14-day quarantine to all foreign visitors, no matter who invited them.

The infected soldier was among a 31-strong delegation of Egyptian military personnel who landed at Rayong’s U-Tapao Airport last Wednesday before staying in a local hotel and visiting a Rayong shopping mall.

The delegation left Thailand on Saturday (July 11), but a test result the next day confirmed one soldier had Covid-19.

According to the CCSA’s announcement effective July 1, pilots and crew of vehicles who enter Thailand on a mission and with clear schedules of departure must be screened on arrival then quarantined at a registered venue. They are also required to use an app that can track their whereabouts and symptoms.

Before last week’s incident, there had been no report of Covid-19 infection in the eastern province for 100 days.

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Virus results for high-risk contacts of Egyptian soldier revealed
Nine people in Rayong have tested negative for Covid-19 after coming into close contact with an infected Egyptian soldier who visited the province last week.

Two hotel managers, one employee, four housemaids, and two drivers were tested and cleared of infection, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) reported on Wednesday (July 15).

Rayong authorities have urged anyone who visited the Laem Thong shopping mall on the same day as the infected Egyptian – July 10 – to visit the city’s Covid-19 testing facility for a free test today or tomorrow from 10am-3pm.

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All disease control personnel at U-tapao airport transferred
The entire disease control unit at U-tapao airport, including its chief, have been transferred for their alleged failure to check properly the hotel in Rayong province where the Egyptian military mission was staying last week, allowing them to venture out shopping unhindered.

Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said today that investigators have checked the D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel and found it was not equipped with access control or tracing systems.

To assist the probe, into the breach of safety regulations by the Egyptian military personnel, he said it was necessary to move the entire disease control unit out, replacing them with health personnel from Chon Buri province.

Dr. Suwanchai said security measures at all hotels in Rayong, which are used as quarantine facilities, will be strengthened, to make sure that those who are exiting quarantine are properly checked and controlled.

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Re: covid-scare - Rayong + BKK all test negative
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2020, 10:15:01 AM »
1,603 in Rayong and Bangkok’s Sukhumvit area test negative for COVID-19
A total of 1,603 people have been cleared of COVID-19 infection, on the first day of mass swab testing, and health officials are waiting for the results of tests on a further 1,252, said Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of Disease Control Department, on Thursday.

The swab tests were conducted on those who visited the Passione Mall, in the downtown Muang district of Thailand’s eastern province of Rayong on July 10th, at the same time as members of an infected Egyptian military mission. People living at a Sukhumvit condominium, where the family of an African diplomat stayed, a member of which had COVID-19, were also tested.

Anyone who visited the D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel between July 8th and 11th have also been told to come forward for testing.

Although the results returned so far are all negative, Dr. Suwanchai urged those tested to stay home for 14 days, to keep wearing face masks, observe social distancing and to wash their hands regularly.

Meanwhile, more people in Rayong province were queuing this morning to receive free tests, being offered for the third consecutive day in front of Passione Mall.

It was reported that that first person showed up at about 4.30am, even though testing does not start until 10am. Only 300 people are tested each day and today’s quota has already been filled.

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CCSA offers ways to help Rayong after Covid-19 scare halts tourism
Since Rayong’s tourism sector has come to a near standstill after a visiting Egyptian soldier tested positive for Covid-19, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) met on Friday (July 17) to come up with measures to help revive the province’s economy.

The plans include:

1. Government agencies holding seminars and meetings in Rayong to help stimulate the hotel industry;

2. Tourism promotion for government agents and private companies;

3. Sports competitions, with control measures in place;

4. Concerts and performances under the new normal;

5. Getting foreign and local film crew to film in the province.

These measures will be discussed further before being announced by Monday.

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Rayong senior officer promises Bt100,000 to anyone who contracts Covid-19 after visiting Rayong
The government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation (CCSA) will propose to the Cabinet to hold mobile meetings in Rayong province to promote tourism and strengthen the public's confidence in the province’s safety, Deputy Minister of Public Health Satit Pitutecha said on Friday (July 17).

The province was gripped with fear of a new wave of infections after an Egyptian soldier, who stayed in a hotel there, was found to be positive after he had left the country.

“The Ministry of Public Health has performed intensive testing in the province and has not found any local getting infected so far, including the 12 persons who had close contact with the infected foreigner,” he said. “All persons who carry the risk of infection will remain in quarantine for 14 days after which they will be tested again,” he said.

“People who wish to visit Rayong, as well as Rayong people who want to travel to other provinces, will not be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, unless there is evidence that the person had made contact with an infected person or was determined by the Department of Disease Control as carrying a high risk,” added Satit.

Meanwhile, Piya Pitutecha, chief executive of Rayong Provincial Administrative Organisation, said that Rayong must regain the tourists' confidence as quickly as possible while urging local people not to panic.

“I am confident that Rayong people are free from Covid-19,” he said. “If anyone visits Rayong and contracts Covid-19, I will personally pay them Bt100,000 after they show concrete evidence, verified by the Ministry of Public Health, that they actually contracted the virus from Rayong locals.”

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Suspicious truck found ‘packed’ with illegal migrants in Sa Kaew



A police scout noticed something suspicious about a pick-up truck near the Thai-Cambodia border in Sa Kaew province on Monday (July 20), and passed the message on to police at the checkpoint.

Police stopped the truck, which was being driven by a Thai woman, and found 15 illegal migrants. She was apparently bringing them across the border from Cambodia to jobs in Chonburi, Pathum Thani and Saraburi.

The migrants, who said they had paid Bt3,000 each to a Cambodian agent for the transfer, are being detained at Klong Hat Police Station for legal proceedings.

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Re: covid-scare - Police nab 45 illegal Cambodian migrants in Sa Kaew
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2020, 06:03:40 PM »
Police nab 45 illegal Cambodian migrants in Sa Kaew



Commander of the Burapha Task Force, Maj-General Tharaphong Malakham, said on Tuesday (July 21) that 45 Cambodian nationals had been arrested for illegally crossing borders in Sa Kaew province.

“The arrests are the result of a joint operation between Burapha Task Force and Sa Kaew police to prevent illegal migrants from entering Thailand or smuggling contraband into the country via the Thai-Cambodian borders in the province,” he said. “Officers patrolling along the Non Ping canal in Ta Phraya district last night arrested three groups of migrants, comprising 15, eight and seven persons, 22 of whom were men and eight women.

The illegal migrants said they had travelled from the Cambodian provinces of Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey to look for work in Chonburi, Pathum Thani and Saraburi. All 45 illegal migrants along with the truck driver have been sent to Ta Phraya and Aranyaprathet police stations for legal process.

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Re: covid-scare - Migrant workers pose biggest danger
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2020, 11:04:52 AM »
Migrant workers pose biggest danger: Public Health Ministry
The Public Health Ministry has warned that bringing migrant workers into the Kingdom may lead to a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Tanarak Plipat, deputy director general of the Disease Control Department, warned that though the situation in Thailand was a lot better than other countries, the risk is not entirely over.

“Several countries are facing a second-wave of infections, and we may face the same. The government is working on curbing the spread of the virus by setting up relevant agencies in every province,” he said.

He also listed three factors that could cause another outbreak – remaining local patients, returnees from other countries who pose a low risk, and illegal migrants, who pose a very high risk.

Tanarak said businesses wanting to bring in migrant workers need to first quarantine them for 14 days, adding that he believes everyone will agree to this measure because nobody wants to be blamed for causing another outbreak.

“We have strict measures in place, and they should be followed as we don’t want businesses to be closed again. The goal at the moment is to control the disease until there are no more infections,” he said.

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Concertgoers, foreign troops tested after Covid-19 scares
More than 600 fans who attended a luk thung concert last month have been summoned for Covid-19 tests after photos of the event revealed a packed-out venue and few people wearing masks. Separately, more than 100 American soldiers visiting Thailand for a military exercise have been tested following a Covid-19 outbreak at their base in Okinawa.

About 2,400 people who attended a concert by Ratchanok “Janey” Suwannaket in Nakhon Si Thammarat on July 25 will be tested today after 613 fans from the same concert tested negative yesterday, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokeswoman, today.

Organisers of the temple-fair concert were charged by police for packing out the venue but failing to impose social distancing or other disease controls.

Meanwhile, a close watch is being kept on foreign troops from Guam and Japan who are in Thailand for the Hanuman Guardian military exercise with Thai special forces.

The soldiers were tested for Covid-19 after an outbreak at their base in Okinawa, Japan, caused alarm among Thai netizens. Tests on all 71 visiting US soldiers came back negative while others are still waiting for their results. All are staying in a Bangkok alternative state quarantine hotel.

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