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Provinces of Thailand ready to declare themselves covid-19 free and accept foreign tourists

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Provinces of Thailand ready to declare themselves covid-19 free and accept foreign tourists

Fifteen provinces in Thailand are ready to declare Coovid-19 an endemic disease according to criteria developed by the Department of Disease Control

A number of provinces in Thailand have indicated their intention to be among the first to declare Coovid-19 endemic, although further declarations require approval from the Center for Emergency Operations, the National News Bureau of Thailand reported.

Ministry of Health Inspector General Dr Suthep Petchmak said, citing Permanent Secretary for Health Dr Kiatthiphum Wongrajit, that 15 provinces are ready for the new disease status. According to Dr Suthep, the Department of Disease Control has finalized the criteria for the status, but the Emergency Operations Center has yet to discuss which provinces are ready for approval. A date has not yet been set for a meeting of the centre to discuss the issue.

Dr Suthep did not name the 15 provinces but noted that the National Committee on Infectious Diseases defines provinces that have fewer than 10,000 new cases daily and a mortality rate of less than 0.1% as endemic. More than 80 per cent of people at risk should also receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Meanwhile, Kittipong Kittikachorn, director of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, said the airport will discuss with other agencies the possibility of expanding its capacity to accommodate more international visitors. Kittipong expects international tourist arrivals to increase from May 1 following the cancellation of the Test&Go scheme. The director also said airport officials are discussing a number of initiatives to help reduce overcrowding at the airport.

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