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Thailand task force to track tourists

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Officials direct Thai passengers arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport from Manila to buses waiting to take them to quarantine. Bangkok Post

BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – The Royal Thai Police is forming a special task force to track down tourists infected with COVID-19 as Thailand prepares to reopen its airspace to travellers.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) will be in charge of tracking tourists, according to a source.

National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda has appointed Police Lieuteant General Sutin Suppuang, commissioner of the CIB to establish a “Covid-19 Investigation Division” to avoid any potential future outbreaks, the source said.

The division will contain the spread of the virus, which might enter the country by way of foreign tourists or Thai returnees when the airspace is reopened.

Pol Lt Gen Sutin admitted to the formation of this special division. Even though the government has yet to open its airspace to international flights, he said he has a blueprint on how the division will operate.

Staff will be recruited from the Thai Marine Police Division, Highway Police and Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division which normally work with the tourism sector. He added that police from the Crime Suppression Division will not be asked to join because they have their hands full.

“The nature of the Covid-19 Investigation Division will mainly involve tourist destinations and transport,” said Pol Lt Gen Sutin.

Meanwhile a total of 274 Thais stranded in the Philippines by COVID-19 returned home by a special flight on Sunday night.

Philippines Airline Flight PR 732 touched down at Suvarnabhumi airport at 10.35pm.

The returnees were immediately screened by disease control officials. One of them was found to have a high fever, and two others were sick with chronic disease. They were taken to a hospital for examination.

The remaining 271 were placed in 14-day state quarantine, either at the Bangkok Palace Hotel in Makkasan or the Patra Hotel on Rama 9 road, in Bangkok.


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