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Thailand to screen tour guides for coronavirus


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Thailand to screen tour guides for coronavirus

By Panarat Thepgumpanat, Panu Wongcha-um

 

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Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha wearing a protective mask is seen during a visit at the arrival hall at the Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International airport in Thailand, January 29, 2020. Thailand Government House/Handout via REUTERS 

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai health officials said on Wednesday they will start screening tourist sector workers for coronavirus as part of measures to control the spread of the new disease that has killed 132 people in China.

 

Thailand has seen 14 cases of coronavirus, more than any country outside of China, which has confirmed nearly 6,000 cases. All but one of them have been among Chinese visiting Thailand, a popular tourist destination.

 

“We have to monitor Thais in professions that come in contact with foreign tourists, particularly the Chinese,” said Tanarak Pipat, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

 

“This includes professions like guides and tour leaders that bring Chinese travellers to Thailand. If they exhibit symptoms like fever, cough or sour throat then we have to scan for coronavirus.”

Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists visited Thailand in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year on Jan. 25.

 

There have so far been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission inside Thailand, Tanarak said.

 

National carrier Thai Airways Pc said on Tuesday it was stepping up protective measures such as disinfecting the passenger cabins and cockpits of flights returning from Chinese cities and other high-risk destinations.

 

Thailand recorded 25,029 arrivals at five airports from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, and other affected Chinese cities, between Jan. 3 and Jan. 27, the health ministry said.

 

Most of those Chinese visitors are believed to have returned home, but there are no official numbers on how many may have been stranded when China’s government banned most commercial flights to Wuhan last week.

 

“Most of those people from Wuhan have gone back and we estimate that hundreds remain,” Vic hit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents told Reuters.

 

He said he expects most remaining Chinese tourists to leave within the next 10 days.

 

Tourism has been hit hard by China’s ban on all group tours as China is Thailand’s biggest source of visitors, accounting for 28 percent of 39.8 million arrivals last year.

 

Reduced travel from China could result in 50 billion baht ($1.52 billion) of lost tourism revenue, the tourism ministry estimates.

 

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has said it expects 2 million fewer Chinese tourists this year than last year, when 11 million arrived.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-29
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13 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Reduced travel from China could result in 50 billion baht ($1.52 billion) of lost tourism revenue, the tourism ministry estimates.

Seeing first hand how catering to just one group of tourists is a bad economic strategy.   If the Chinese elites do not change their eating habits, this will continue, as it has done in the past.  Instead of eating a bat or a rare Chinese alligator, have some broccoli instead.    

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I think the visit so Suvarnabhumi was also to inspect the readiness of the airport to serve to the huge REVERSE border run once the "guests" realize that the only country left keeping the border open to the Chinese is Thailand. After all, Malaysia, Philippines, .. even North Korea (!) are taking up measures. I have 4 more days to my departure back to safety :D 

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“This includes professions like guides and tour leaders that bring Chinese travellers to Thailand. If they exhibit symptoms like fever, cough or sour throat then we have to scan for coronavirus.”

If they have "sour" throat, they should be given some sugar or milk

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15 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists visited Thailand in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year on Jan. 25

Which will come back to haunt you.

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3 hours ago, yellowboat said:

Seeing first hand how catering to just one group of tourists is a bad economic strategy.   If the Chinese elites do not change their eating habits, this will continue, as it has done in the past.  Instead of eating a bat or a rare Chinese alligator, have some broccoli instead.    

Yes, I agree and they need to stop producing Corona. You know something crazy? I thought that beer was made in Mexico!!! Who knew! And it’s still on the shelves of grocery stores!! Unbelievable! 

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16 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha wearing a protective mask is seen during a visit at the arrival hall at the Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International airport in Thailand, January 29, 2020.

Silly me! I thought it was a cardboard cutout.

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if immigration can tell us that 25,000 arrived from wuhan via airports, wouldn't they be able to tell us how many had left already ?  rather than :

17 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

“Most of those people from Wuhan have gone back and we estimate that hundreds remain,”

i understand they can't be exact on the number but one would assume the computer system would show an entry and an exit.  pretty easy stuff. 

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17 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

He said he expects most remaining Chinese tourists to leave within the next 10 days.

and what are his estimates/expectations these (left behind) Chinese tourists came in contact with and potentially infected how many.... like other countries did, they should have immediately close the borders to any arrivals from China but the greedy didn't allow them to do so....they keep waiting for China's approval

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