Thai Airways has announced that travellers from
high risk areas need to produce a certificate, signed by a doctor, to
prove that they do not have the novel coronavirus which causes
In a statement issued on Monday, Thai Airways said
that passengers flying from Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong
SAR, Macau SAR, Milan, Pusan, Rome, Seoul and Shanghai, must
present the doctor's certificate to check-in staff before a
boarding pass would be issued.
Thai Airways has also said that such
passengers will need to fill in a T8 form issued under the
Communicable Disease Act B.E. 2558 and give it to a Disease
Control Officer at the quarantine office at the airport where they
land in Thailand.
This statement has caused a lot of worry and
confusion amongst travellers, and even doctors. In an
interview with RTHK, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for
Health Protection in Hong Kong said she was not sure how people
could prove they are free of the novel coronavirus and that they
are suitable to fly.
“Health proof for flights… I’ve never heard
of it. I don’t know how people can prove they’re free of the novel
coronavirus, because the tests are not available at private
clinics," said Dr. Chuang.
The World Health Organisation currently issues
these guidelines to help international airports, ports and
ground crossings manage the detection and treatment of ill
travellers suspected of COVID19 infection.
WHO states that the most common symptoms of COVID19, which can
appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure, are
"fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and
pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people
become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel
unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without
needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets
COVID19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high
blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to
develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty
breathing should seek medical attention".
As of 10am CET on 9 March 2020, the WHO reported
that globally there were 109,577
confirmed cases (3,993 new) and 3,809 deaths (225 new). Outside of
China, there were 28,673 confirmed cases (3,948 new), 686 deaths
(202 new) and 104 countries/territories/ areas (3 new) have been
affected. The three new countries are Bangladesh, Albania and Paraguay.