Army to Evac More Thais Stranded Overseas in Pandemic

A quarantine officer screens passengers at the arrival hall of Suvarnabhumi Airport on March 4, 2020.
A quarantine officer screens passengers at the arrival hall of Suvarnabhumi Airport on March 4, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Ministry of Defence on Tuesday said it aims to bring back more Thais stranded in other countries, from 400 a day to 500 from June 5.

Spokesman Lt-General Kongcheep Tantawanich said that the Thai government could only allow a maximum of 400 Thai returnees each day into Thailand in May to limit the spread of COVID-19.

However for the month of June, the ministry aims to bring back home more Thai nationals as the Ministry of Public Health has improved the capacity for disease control management.

The health ministry said it is now preparing locations to receive and quarantine more returnees.

This comes after Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he would like to see more stranded Thais brought back home, Kongcheep said.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said that since late May, the new cases of COVID-19 were mostly imported, and that protecting 60 million people in Thailand should be priority before allowing Thais stranded overseas to return home.

Tuesday saw one new COVID-19 case in Thailand, bringing cumulative infections in the country to 3,083.

Most new COVID-19 cases earlier were Thai returnees from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India and Malaysia.