Covid-19 infection rate, total number of international travelers increasing

While the government suspended the Test & Go program last month to stem the spread of the Omicron variant, those already approved are still trickling in, and many have come as part of the sandbox program. Despite curbing the flow of international travelers, the number of Covid-19 infections brought in from abroad has risen steadily and the rate of infection among arrivals has risen sharply, with Russia leading the field.

When the government reopened borders across Thailand to international travelers in November with 3 different entry regimes based on country of origin and vaccination status, the infection rate was just 0.13% for about 133,000 international arrivals. As more people traveled to Thailand in December, that infection rate tripled to 0.45%, with nearly 291,000 arrivals.

But so far in the first half of January, when the highly transmissible Omicron variant is surging around the world, infection rates have skyrocketed nearly eight-fold as the roughly 116,000 people who arrived this year had infections at a rate of 3.42 % were found.

Interestingly, the rate is lowest among those who participated in the Happy Quarantine program, with an infection rate of 2.05%. The Sandbox scheme and Test & Go plan were similar in infection rates at 3.74% and 3.57%, respectively.

A total of 282 Covid-19 infections were detected yesterday in recent international arrivals from a total of 51 different countries. Travelers from Russia formed the largest demographic with a total of 59 infected passengers, 58 of them under the Test & Go program while one of them was a quarantine traveler.

That’s more than double the country with the second most infections, the US, with a total of 29 infections, of which 10 were from the sandbox, 3 from Test & Go and 6 from quarantine. Almost half of those travelers, 14 in total, were returning Thai nationals.

Germany and Sweden followed with 18 and 17 infections respectively, and then France and Great Britain, from each of which 14 Covid-19 infections were identified. Rounding out the top 10 were the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Denmark and Australia.

1 Russia 59 58 0 1
2 United States 29 2 (1 Thai) 20 (10 Thai) 6 (3 thai)
3 Germany 18 7 11 0
4 Sweden 17th 4 13 (3 Thais) 0
5 France 14 5 8th 1 (1 Thai)
6 United Kingdom 14 5 9 (3 thai) 0
7 United Arab Emirates 12 0 8 (all Thai) 4 (3 thai)
8th Switzerland 10 0 7 3
9 Denmark 8th 1 5 2 (1 Thai)
10 Australia 8th 1 7 (1 Thai) 0

SOURCE: Ministry of Health

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