Govt beefs up border security as it keeps hawk’s eye on Omicron variant
The government is keeping a close watch on the Covid-19 situation amid fears over the latest Omicron variant, and has ordered border agencies to increase security and screening measures for all visitors entering Thailand, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Tuesday.
“Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has said that security officials at borders must strictly follow disease-control regulations. If any illegal migrants are reported to have slipped into the country, those responsible officials would be punished,” he warned.
“The prime minister also ordered related agencies to closely follow the latest updates on Omicron, especially the rate of its spread and severity of symptoms compared to known variants such as Delta and Alpha.”
On Saturday, the Public Health Ministry announced that from December 1 Thailand would ban visitors by air from eight African countries to prevent the spread of the new, more easily transmissible Covid-19 variant, which was reported on November 24 in South Africa. The countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“PM Prayut also said that in order to strengthen the economy that is slowly recovering, the government would continue to vaccinate people to increase their immunity and prevent severe symptoms and deaths,” Thanakorn said.
“The government will also provide accurate information about the new variant and inform people promptly if there is any Omicron case reported in the country,” he added.