Thailand to cancel ‘Test & Go’ and uses ‘Sandbox and ASQ programs’ to avoid Omicron spread

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Minister Anutin said policies have been handed to both the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health and the director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC) for the probable cancellation of the Test & Go scheme at this time and a return to the Sandbox and ASQ programs.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has confirmed the detection of 63 cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant, with another 20 cases still awaiting confirmation. Preparations are currently underway to cancel the Test & Go program. The announcement comes amid moves to accelerate booster vaccinations, especially for people who received two Sinovac doses.



Minister Anutin said during an interview that policies have been handed to both the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health and the director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC) for the probable cancellation of the Test & Go scheme at this time and a return to the Sandbox and ASQ programs. These proposals will be presented at the next meeting of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).


The move comes amid reports that even repeated RT-PCR testing – first at the point of origin and again upon arrival in Thailand – are failing to detect and prevent all Omicron cases from slipping through.

Minister Anutin noted that the issue of New Year countdown events will still be left to the discretion of provincial governors and communicable disease committees, but stressed that safety must be the top priority. Measures must also be in place to screen travelers entering each province.



He also said people who have already received two vaccine doses for three months should get their booster shots regardless of the brand they were administered previously. Those who received the two Sinovac injections are especially urged to get a booster, either with the Pfizer or Astrazeneca vaccine, as the Sinovac jab offers negligible protection against the Omicron variant. (NNT)