BANGKOK (Xinhua) — With rare cases of local COVID-19 transmission in Thailand, health authorities on Saturday said they were puzzled by the new discovery of a local infection from Krabi, a popular resort island in Thailand’s south.
A local case in Krabi province was among 12 new COVID-19 patients reported on Saturday, raising the total to 3,830 cases.
The local infection was an Indian man, 37, who works at a restaurant in Krabi Province, while the rest of the 11 new cases were all imported, confirmed the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Saturday.
“The Indian man tested positive on Wednesday while taking a health test for a work permit. He is now being treated at a public hospital and his case is being investigated,” said the CCSA.
The CCSA is now tracing the background of the Indian man, saying it does not have complete detail of the man, except that he took a job at a restaurant in the province and was staying with some friends.
“We were told by Krabi provincial health officers, 19 people were in contact with him,” said the CCSA.
The most recent local case detected by health authorities was in October when a 57-year-old French woman tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Thailand.
Inbound Tourism as a Gift
Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports on Friday said in its press briefing that it is eyeing for a travel bubble with China as a New Year’s gift to the Thai tourism industry badly crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry said it is planning to welcome Chinese tourists as the first group of foreigners entering into Thailand without a mandatory quarantine during the Lunar New year.
“Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be discussing with Chinese state agencies to discuss the travel bubble plan,” said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, tourism and sports minister. “Hopefully, our Chinese counterparts will help facilitate the travel bubble plan.”
The minister said he is confident in the COVID-19 situation in China.
The minister also said that the first group of Chinese travelers who have previously entered Thailand tested negative for COVID-19 after their 14-day quarantine.
“And so now the Chinese tourists can go wherever they like in Thailand,” said Phiphat.