BANGKOK (NNT) - A coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) management center has been set up at Government House in Bangkok. Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, has instructed all relevant agencies to integrate their work to deal with the spread of COVID-19. He has assured the public that Thai workers, who are returning to Thailand from Daegu and North Gyeongsang in South Korea, will be placed in14-day quarantine at state facilities. They are not allowed to return home, to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
After a meeting on measures to handle Thai workers returning from at-risk countries, the Prime Minister said he would serve as the chairman of the COVID-19 management center at Government House. He will oversee policies and instruct all related agencies to be prepared for any circumstances. He said the government has adequate measures to deal with the situation, with Thailand ranking 17th out of 75 countries where COVID-19 has spread.
Speaking of the illegal Thai migrant workers in South Korea who want to return to Thailand, Gen. Prayut said they must be screened in the country of origin. After arriving in Thailand, they will go through three levels of screening, and those who have a fever will be separated from the group. North Gyeongsang province and Daegu city in South Korea have been severely affected by COVID-19. Thai workers traveling from these two locations will be placed in 14-day quarantine at state facilities immediately. Workers who return from at-risk countries will be taken straight to hospitals, if they have a fever. If they have no fever, they will be quarantined in their respective provinces. The Ministry of the Interior has worked with provincial governors to locate a quarantine facility. Those in quarantine will not be permitted to return home. Many Thai workers in South Korea are gradually returning to Thailand. They are being screened by the South Korean authorities before departure. If they have a fever, they will not be allowed to leave the country. He urged the public not to worry too much about the issue, as the government will look after all Thai people.
To address the shortage of face masks, the Prime Minister said the government is considering expanding factories to increase production capacity. However, the materials used in face masks have to be imported from countries that have reported no confirmed cases of COVID-19. The government will prevent the hoarding of masks while making sure that their price remains at 2.50 baht each.