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Thailand discovers first case of local infection in 100 days

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health said that it has discovered a locally transmitted case of Covid-19 after more than 100 days with zero cases within the country.

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A 37-year-old inmate at Bangkok’s Khlong Prem Prison has been tested positive for the coronavirus as the Kingdom’s just passed the 100 days milestone without local infections.

The prisoner was arrested on drug charges officials said and worked as a DJ in popular nightlife areas, including Khaosan Road, and had no recent history of traveling overseas, suggesting that he was infected within Thailand.

The new case comes as Thailand is bracing for a four-day holiday due to Songkran’s replacement, with mass movements of people expected between Friday and Monday.

This new case happens as Thailand has just reported zero locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases for 100 days in a row, joining a small group of places like Taiwan where the virus has been virtually eliminated.

But Thai officials remain wary of a possible resurgence of infection like in New Zealand and Vietnam, two other countries which went without a case of transmission within 102 days, but had to reimpose a lockdown to contain a second wave outbreak.

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Insights into the impact of COVID-19 on Thailand’s households

In April 2020, the Thai government passed a 1 trillion baht borrowing decree to address health needs, provide relief, and economic recovery. An estimated 44 million Thais have benefitted from this social assistance and social insurance programs during the pandemic.

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Bangkok downtown street vendor
Bangkok street vendor in the Sukhumvit area. Credit: Olivier Languepin

As COVID-19 spread around the world, Thailand, the second country to report COVID-19 cases, responded with swift and multifaceted schemes that included public health measures, social protection, and fiscal policy.

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Thailand bans arrivals from 8 African countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus variant to be “of concern” and named it Omicron. The WHO says it has a large number of mutations and early evidence suggesting an increased reinfection risk.

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visa arrival closed airport

Thailand has imposed a total ban on arrivals from eight African countries, effective from Saturday 27th of November, and those who already have permission to enter the country will be subject to quarantine for 14 days from tomorrow.

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