What returning labourers can expect
Thai labourers returning from South Korea are being screened for symptoms of Covid-19 before and after boarding their flights and anyone suspected must stay in supervised quarantine for at least 14 days, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Thursday (March 5).
Anutin, who is also a deputy prime minister, was speaking after a meeting on the matter chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
“The government is happy to take them back if they wish to return, but we must ensure the general public’s safety,” he said.
“The labourers must undergo a physical examination while still in South Korea before boarding flights home. If they have a fever or are infected with Covid-19, they have to be treated in South Korea.”
Anutin said the government will determine the best ways to help any ailing returnees, he said, including with monitoring their condition and providing medical supplies.
“But it’s important that citizens are confident that these labourers won’t spread the virus when they return. We will discuss places to quarantine them later.”
He noted that Thais who have been working illegally in South Korea have to be processed by that country’s Immigration Bureau, which takes five-15 days.
“During that time, the Thai and Korean embassies will work together to ensure that authorities know the exact number of labourers wishing to return to Thailand,” Anutin said.
Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, confirmed that all those wishing to return will be screened before boarding their flights.
“When they arrive here, they will be screened again and separated into three groups."
“Those suspected of being infected will be sent for diagnostic tests and treatment at a designated hospital. Those without symptoms but coming from the high-risk areas Daegu and North Gyeongsang will be quarantined for at least 14 days in government-designated facilities in or near their hometowns.
“Those coming from other locales in South Korea must be quarantined for at least 14 days under the supervision of their province’s governor, health office and the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee. The ministries of Interior and Health will discuss suitable locations later.”