UK coronavirus travel warning now includes Thailand

Published:  30 Jan at 6 PM
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As the death toll and numbers infected by the coronavirus soar, the UK government has issued a travel warning including Thailand.

Concurrently with the British travel advice, Thailand’s health minister Anutin Charnvirkul is being quoted in the media as saying his country cannot stop the virus’s spread as it's at present host to a huge number of Chinese tourists. On January 12, the popular visitor and expat destination was the first to confirm a case of coronavirus, and is now the worst affected after China itself.

International and local flights and public transport are still running, although the country’s airports are believed to be screening arrivals for signs of infection. After those in Bangkok, visitors, expat residents and tourists in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and the southern holiday islands are at most risk as, before the outbreak began, over 25,000 Chinese arrived from Wuhan and other infected regions to celebrate their New Year. Health measures are now being introduced in Bangkok’s major shopping malls, with shoppers’ temperatures being scanned at all entrances.

Airport screening is now mandatory for all arrivals from China, and malls as well as workers in the country’s tourism industry are now under surveillance. One Thai official told local media an outbreak in tourism and expat hotspots is now possible, adding that limited-scale local transmission would quickly result in infections at the provincial level. Also, it’s not known how many Chinese visitors are still in Thailand and unable to return home following China’s recent banning of all commercial flights to Wuhan.
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