Thailand halts entry permit to travelers from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal

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Thailand has barred foreign arrivals from India since the beginning of this month due to worries about the Indian variant. The Thai embassy in India does not issue certificates of entry (COE) to any non-Thai nationals, effectively meaning they cannot travel to the kingdom.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today have decided to halt the issuance of the entry permit to travelers from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Assistant spokeswoman for the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, Apisamai Srirangson, said on Monday that the Indian variant of COVID-19 was detected in a Thai woman and her young son arriving from Pakistan.

The woman and her three sons, aged four, six and eight, arrived in Thailand from Pakistan via Dubai on April 24.



All were in a state-arranged state quarantine facility after the arrival and the first tests found the mother and her youngest son were positive, while the other children were not infected.

A whole genome sequencing test conducted at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital on Sunday confirmed the virus detected on them was the variant from India, named B.1.617.1.

Dr Apisamai said these were the first detections of the Indian variant in the country.



The B.1.617.1 variant was recorded for the first time in India in October before spreading to other countries. Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh were among the nations on the subcontinent where this virus was found. In Southeast Asia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have detected the same variant.

Dr Apisamai said authorities were worried by the arrival of this version of the virus and the new danger it poses.

Thailand has barred foreign arrivals from India since the beginning of this month due to worries about the Indian variant. The Thai embassy in India does not issue certificates of entry (COE) to any non-Thai nationals, effectively meaning they cannot travel to the kingdom.



The assistant spokeswoman said the Foreign Ministry and Department of Disease Control were on Monday holding discussions about halting the issuance of the entry permit in other countries to try to keep the Indian variant of COVID-19 out of Thailand.

She did not name the countries but said the variant had been recorded in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

She added that there is a possibility of delaying COEs in other countries. (NNT)