Thai Prime Minister Isolates himself after Covid-19 exposure in Phuket reopening, SE Asia News & Top Stories


BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) – Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will isolate himself at home for a week after coming into close contact with a person who was later vaccinated positive for the coronavirus at events marking the reopening of the holiday island of Phuket foreign tourists were tested.

The prime minister, who received two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, will continue his work as usual, including closely monitoring the situation of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, said Anucha Burapachaisri, a government spokesman.

“The prime minister has not yet tested positive for the virus and will continue to run tests,” Anucha said in a statement on Monday.

“He will continue to perform his duties as usual and closely monitor developments.”

The prime minister’s self-isolation came after a senior official from the Thai Chamber of Commerce confirmed that he tested positive for the virus after attending the Phuket reopening ceremony with Mr Prayut on July 1, according to Thai newspaper Krungthep Turakij.

Mr Prayuth and several of his cabinet colleagues were in Phuket to welcome the first vaccinated foreign tourists who are not subject to quarantine as the tourism-dependent nation gradually seeks to reopen its borders and revitalize its economy.

Thailand’s most famous holiday destination has welcomed 1,893 tourists since July 1, according to official figures.

Thailand reported 6,166 new Covid-19 infections and 50 new deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of cases and deaths to 289,233 and 2,276 respectively. About 90 percent of the country’s total infections come from the recent outbreak, which began in early April.

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, remains the epicenter with the highest number of cases reported on a daily basis.

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