Thailand to inoculate frontliners along northern border

— Thailand will allocate 800,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the frontliners including the border security officers along the northern border as preparation for the possible influx of Myanmar refugees and to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokesperson Dr Apisamai Srirangsan said the Public Health Ministry would distribute the vaccine to risk areas including the northern provinces following reports of Myanmar refugees crossing the borders.

“The frontliners are routinely in close contact with people crossing the borders. Therefore, they will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccine soon,” she said at the COVID-19 daily briefing here today.

Myanmar local media had reported that the military had launched air strikes in Karen state on Sunday causing up to 3,000 villagers to flee into the forest and cross into Thailand.

On Tuesday, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha said the country was ready to shelter those who fled Myanmar based on humanitarian principles.

Meanwhile, Apisamai said 100,000 residents in Phuket would be vaccinated before the resort island welcome tourists starting July 1.

Phuket plans to waive mandatory quarantine for vaccinated foreign tourists arriving starting July 1 to help revive the tourism industry that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is to ensure the safety of the locals and incoming travellers,” she said.

Tourism Authority of Thailand expects at least 100,000 visitors to Phuket in the third quarter of this year.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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