COVID panic ebbs after 3,400+ people test negative in Rayong and Bangkok

People queue for COVID-19 testing Tuesday in Rayong. Photo: CentralPlaza Rayong / Facebook
People queue for COVID-19 testing Tuesday in Rayong. Photo: CentralPlaza Rayong / Facebook

Despite the second-wave fever sweeping the nation, more than 3,400 people in Rayong and Bangkok can sleep easy after testing negative for COVID-19.

Amid anxiety that an infected Egyptian air force officer and young Sudanese girl could have spread the virus last weekend, disease control officials announced today that no virus was detected in the first 3,147 people tested in Rayong, with 685 tests left to process.

The same went for all 267 residents of a Soi Sukhumvit 26 condo where a Sudanese family lived with their daughter who had contracted the disease. Condo One X residents were tested Tuesday. Officials said another 97 people who came to be tested are still awaiting results.

COVID task force spokesman Taweesilp Wisanuyothin announced today that, from now on, all diplomats would have to stay in government-sanctioned quarantine facilities rather than isolate at home. He also said that the people tested will be retested later.

On Monday, health officials announced that 31 Egyptian air force officers had spent July 10 shopping in Rayong while visiting on official business. They stayed at the D Varee Diva Rayong Hotel and departed Saturday, one day before test results found one had contracted the virus. 

At least 127 schools and two malls were closed and hotel bookings in the province were wiped out.

On the same day as the Egyptian shopping expedition, the 9-year-old diplomat’s daughter returned from Sudan with her family. She spent the night at their downtown condo before she was hospitalized Saturday following her test results confirming she was ill.

Blame has been flying hot and heavy this week between health officials, foreign embassies and government figures while the public has seethed with anxiety over a resurgence of the virus which has all but vanished domestically, according to daily reports of no local transmission.

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