Questions were raised in Thursday (2 Dec) House of Representatives session over the government’s response to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. The minister of tourism and sports addressed the concern, saying the new variant has yet to affect the tourism scene in Thailand.
Satun MP Worasit Liangpradit asked the government about performance indicators for the reopening of the country to international tourists and the government’s handling of the Omicron variant of the Covid virus. Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn responded to the query, saying that the new variant has yet to prompt cancellations of trips to Thailand by European and North American tourists. He added that the prime minister has told relevant agencies to rigorously screen arriving travelers and to follow up on travelers from Africa who entered Thailand from 15 November. Mr. Phiphat said the existing disease control measures are enough to foster confidence among tourists, adding that only 0.3% of some 60,000 visitors who entered the Kingdom through the Phuket Sandbox scheme were infected and none of them had transmitted the virus to others.
Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha answered a query by Pheu Thai MP Surawit Khonsombun, who asked about current measures to prevent and contain any spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Mr. Sathit asserted the government has plans in place and although the new variant may prove difficult to stop, the government will maintain control of the disease situation. He added that the government is also keeping abreast of vaccine development, which is being undertaken by several developers to address the newly emerged variant. (NNT)