Thailand reports five new imported COVID-19 cases

BANGKOK (CNA) – Thailand yesterday reported five new COVID-19 cases, all of which were found in quarantine.

This makes it 25 days for Thailand without a confirmed domestic transmission of the virus.

The new cases were Thais returning from Saudi Arabia, said spokesman for the government’s COVID-19 task force Taweesin Wisanuyothin.

Thailand recorded 58 deaths related to COVID-19 among around 3,146 confirmed cases, of which 3,008 patients have recovered.

The country’s aviation regulator on Thursday said that Thailand could allow inbound international travel to resume next month for business purposes.

A woman looks at her mobile phone on a pedestrian bridge as traffic builds up during rush hour in Bangkok. PHOTO: AFP

This comes as the country seeks to revive an economy hit badly by the impacts of the coronavirus and global travel curbs.

Thailand’s tourism industry, which accounts for 12 per cent of the economy, has ground to a halt from travel bans and health concerns, and projects as few as 14 million visitors this year, down from nearly 40 million in 2019.

A flight ban for all but repatriation flights is due to expire at the end of this month, but the extent to which the country can reopen depends on the government’s centre for COVID-19 situation administration, said authorities.

Thailand has been planning to reopen to foreign visitors by creating so-called travel bubbles with countries that have also contained the virus, though no target date was set.

On Wednesday, Airports of Thailand said it expects travel to return to normal levels in October 2022.