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RT-PCR testing remains mandatory for visitors to Thailand


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The administrative centre for Covid19 containment, the CCSA, has announced that real-time polymerase chain reaction tests or RT-PCR tests for foreign arrivals remain mandatory to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.

The ministry initially planned to allow foreign visitors to use the ATK [antigen test kit] as Thailand opens more provinces.

With the emergence of this new variant, this plan has been shelved and the CCSA stands by its decision to make the RT-PCR test mandatory for all international visitors.”

Omicron, which was designated a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO) last week, is a new and potentially more contagious strain of Covid-19. The variant was detected in South Africa on November 24 from a sample collected on November 9.

The agencies under the Thai Ministry of Medical Sciences have been instructed to find the most suitable and effective test method for the Omicron variant as soon as possible.

“Admittedly, no vaccine is effective against all variants of the virus,” said Dr Satit Pitutec of the Ministry of Health, but manufacturers are working to create vaccines that can efficiently fight virus mutations. The ministry has been monitoring the situation closely and will let you know as soon as a new, better vaccine is available.

“Currently, no Omicron cases have been detected in Thailand as authorities immediately cancelled flights from high-risk countries. However, the variant can be introduced through natural channels and across borders with neighbouring countries, so everyone needs to be on the lookout.”

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