Non-Thai nationals arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal are now included in an entry ban aimed at preventing the spread of the so-called Indian variant of Covid-19. The ban was first introduced for arrivals from India late last month, amid the escalating crisis in that country.
The ban applies to all non-Thais who depart from or transit through those countries. Tanee Sangrat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration requested an extension to the ban after a Thai woman who arrived from Pakistan was found to be infected with the variant while in quarantine.
“Thai nationals, diplomats on mission in Thailand and their families, and permanent residents travelling from these countries are still able to return to Thailand if they so wish.”
Further tests at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital confirmed the strain was B.1.617.1, with Thiravat Hemachudha from Chulalongkorn University urging people to be vigilant. He says B.1.617.1 is concerning, pointing out that 4 people in Israel, all of whom have been fully inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine, have tested positive for the variant.
“Thailand must be vigilant even if we can achieve our vaccination target by year-end.