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TDRI calls for suspension of overseas arrivals to contain Covid-19 threat


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TDRI calls for suspension of overseas arrivals to contain Covid-19 threat

By The Nation

 

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The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) has advised the government to suspend the issuance of letters by Royal Thai Embassies and consulates and the use of fit-to-fly medical certificates for people to enter the country to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections.

 

To prevent Covid-19 people from entering the country, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) had announced that Thais overseas who wish to return home must obtain a fit-to-fly medical certificate issued within 72 hours of departure and a letter issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or consulate.

 

This measure forced airlines to deny boarding passes to people who did not have all documents. Many overseas Thais complained about the complications of this regulation, while some of them filed a complaint with the Central Administrative Court and started an online campaign #bringthaihome.

 

Dr Salintorn Thongmeensuk, Research Fellow at TDRI on Saturday (April 4), explained that the incubation period of Covid-19 virus is different for each person.

 

“The estimate of the incubation period is between 2 to 14 days. However, according to a local government report in China's Hubei province on February 22, some patients have an incubation period of 27 days, so a medical certificate issued within a short period cannot help screen Covid-19 patients,” she said.

 

“Besides, some countries do not have online registration for issuing letters, so people have to queue up at embassies or consulates for letters, while they have to go to hospitals for medical certificates, raising their risk of infection.”

 

She further explained that requesting for medical certification overseas is not easy as the Covid-19 situation tends to be more severe.

 

“In Britain, foreigners from risky countries may be prohibited from visiting hospitals, as a result Thais in London are unable to request a medical certificate,” she said.

 

“In Japan, a medical certificate is expensive -- 4,841 yen (Bt1,844) per person, but some hospitals may even charge up to 10,000 to 20,000 yen (Bt3,000 to Bt6,000).

 

“In addition, some hospitals may take more than seven days to issue a medical certificate because the inspection process is quite complicated.”

 

She said that this measure burdened embassies because the CAAT did not consult with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

“The sudden fit-to-fly measure also affects airlines unable to adapt their flight plan. In some cases, airlines have to refund tickets to passengers,” she said.

 

“For example, one day after the fit-to-fly measure came into effect, there were only three passengers on board an Aeroflot Russian Airlines SU6275 flight departing from Moscow to Bangkok because other people could not obtain letters and or medical certificate before boarding the plane.”

 

She said that many governments used somewhat similar measures to bring their citizens back to the home country.

 

“In Britain, Germany, and Japan the government used their budget to bring citizens back from risky areas by charter flights,” she explained.

 

“In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs is planning to evacuate their citizens, including people with dual nationality from risky countries.

 

“In Cambodia, passengers from France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain or the US will be prohibited from entering the country, while the government has not issued any conditions for Cambodian returnees.”

 

She advised the government to allow Thais to return to the country without any conditions.

 

“Related airlines must undergo the Covid-19 preventive measures issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to reduce the chance of getting infected,” she added. “When the returnees arrive, they must undergo quarantine measures to contain the spread of disease.”

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30385421

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-04-05
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Hello 

Sorry I am really confused by the title 

reading this, this entity is asking the government to allow its Nationals to be allowed back in the country without the burden of a medical certificate’s issuance or am I wrong ?  

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31 minutes ago, alyx said:

Hello 

Sorry I am really confused by the title 

reading this, this entity is asking the government to allow its Nationals to be allowed back in the country without the burden of a medical certificate’s issuance or am I wrong ?  

Couldn't agree more about the contradictory headline and rambling announcement. Was also interested to see this complaint:

 

1 hour ago, rooster59 said:

“In Japan, a medical certificate is expensive -- 4,841 yen (Bt1,844) per person, but some hospitals may even charge up to 10,000 to 20,000 yen (Bt3,000 to Bt6,000).

... when a recent Thai PBS survey indicated that average testing costs here at major hospitals ranged from 3,000-14,000 baht. Despite all this, love the picture of the TDRI girl(?), although I have no idea what it adds to the story

 

Edited by bangkokfrog
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45 minutes ago, alyx said:

Hello 

Sorry I am really confused by the title 

reading this, this entity is asking the government to allow its Nationals to be allowed back in the country without the burden of a medical certificate’s issuance or am I wrong ?  

Correct yes,Sorry that's how i read it.

Edited by stuhan
mistake
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Bringing thai's back from any country with covid would be the biggest mistake made now,everything that has been done to prevent the spread up to now could be a waste of time and efforts.The way it is,is the way it is and hard decisions have to be made to stop this outbreak.

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Dr Salintorn Thongmeensuk:

 

“In Britain, foreigners from risky countries may be prohibited from visiting hospitals, as a result Thais in London are unable to request a medical certificate.”

 

What she says in that statement is untrue.  Clearly she knows little about the provision of healthcare in the UK and is content to spread misinformation.

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6 minutes ago, In the jungle said:

Dr Salintorn Thongmeensuk:

 

“In Britain, foreigners from risky countries may be prohibited from visiting hospitals, as a result Thais in London are unable to request a medical certificate.”

 

What she says in that statement is untrue.  Clearly she knows little about the provision of healthcare in the UK and is content to spread misinformation.

No, she is correct and it is you who are wrong. At this time, many hospitals are only allowing for entry of emergency cases into hospitals and all non-urgent appointments have been cancelled, irrespective of nationality. It is just a matter or prioritising resources and avoiding non-essential contacts that may add to the spread of COVID-19. Thus, someone turning up to request a fit-to-fly medical certificate would be told to go home and stop putting themselves and others in danger. You clearly have little idea of the situation i the UK at the moment.  Try to think before you post. 😉

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The time for this was in January when thousands of Chinese from Wuhan were flying in. But hey tourism baht over lives, any day.

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10 hours ago, rooster59 said:

“In Cambodia, passengers from France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain or the US will be prohibited from entering the country, while the government has not issued any conditions for Cambodian returnees.”

... which is also pretty much standard procedure by every other country...

 -  except for thailand

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43 minutes ago, rasmus5150 said:

Wow. This is a statement that would make the Philippine President proud.......

 

You are not just supposed to bar your nationals from entering their own country - how would you feel if you were not allowed to travel back to the place you were born and have citizenship....

 

You can't just dump your problems (citizens) in other countries.

The Thais that are left in the UK are not important. Those ones got out before Thai stopped flying. There were massive queues at the embassy in London so temporary consulate was open at a hotel near Heathrow and a Thai doctor was used to sign off passengers. All the important people have now left leaving ordinary Thais left in the UK. Most of these, or at least the ones my wife knows, are very anti Prayuth so no loss there.

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1 hour ago, rasmus5150 said:

Wow. This is a statement that would make the Philippine President proud.......

 

You are not just supposed to bar your nationals from entering their own country - how would you feel if you were not allowed to travel back to the place you were born and have citizenship....

 

You can't just dump your problems (citizens) in other countries.

Unless you have a registered residence you couldn't go back to e.g. Germany or Austria either as a national. There may be more countries with this rule?  

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