Test results for more than 1,400 people are expected back today after the revelation that a group of Egyptian soldiers left their hotel quarantine to visit two shopping malls, raising alarm and fear of a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the province.
At around noon, all those tested will find out their results, the Disease Control Department said. Among the 1,400 are 200 of the 394 “high-risk” people who visited the CentralPlaza Rayong and Passione Shopping Destination (aka Laemtong Rayong) malls where most of the 31 visiting military personnel visited Friday.
Though they departed Saturday, fear of possible infection spread after one of the men, an air force officer, was confirmed to have the disease on Sunday.
Anek Moong-aomklang, director of the Urban Institute for Disease Prevention and Control, said those who showed up to be tested included employees at shopping malls, hotels, bars and nightclubs. Though the Egyptians are not known to have visited any bars or nightclubs, public anxiety has been running high.
The 394 at-risk people were identified because they checked into one of the malls via the government’s Thailand Wins tracking system.
The Egyptian personnel landed last week at Rayong’s U-Tapao airfield. While they were nominally under instructions to isolate themselves at a hotel, dozens were allowed to visit public places. More than 100 local schools were ordered closed yesterday in response.
As of Tuesday, no new domestic cases had been detected for 50 days.
After the incident, Embassy of Egypt issued a statement Tuesday to express its “sincere regrets” and “sympathies” to all those people adversely affected by the “unfortunate incident.”