Officers man a checkpoint in Songkhla to screen people from the neighbouring provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat to control the spread of Covid-19. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)
SONGKHLA: Authorities in Songkhla have toughened screening measures in areas adjacent to the three southernmost border provinces in hopes of bringing down stubbornly high rates of Covid-19 infections.
People travelling from Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat will have to show proof of coronavirus vaccination, negative test results or other documents if they wish to enter Songkhla, governor Jetsada Jittarat said on Saturday.
Songkhla on Saturday reported 621 new coronavirus cases, the third highest in the country behind Bangkok (1,077) and Yala (664). The new infections raised the cumulative provincial total to 39,296, with deaths at 171.
The number of daily infections in Songkhla has been between 400 and 600 a day, which is partially a reflection of high levels of mass testing by health workers in many areas.
Persistently high infection rates have been a concern in the southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. As a result, the Songkhla communicable disease control committee and the provincial Covid panel agreed on Saturday that tighter screening is needed, said a source at the meeting.
Mr Jetsada on Saturday inspected screening measures at the Ban Munee checkpoint between Saba Yoi district of Songkhla and Kabang district in Yala, and at Ban Tanod between Saba Yoi and Khok Pho in Pattani.
The governor said measures to prevent disease transmission in nearby areas, particularly the three border provinces, were also important aside from those in place in Songkhla.
“In case of necessity to travel, people who want to enter Songkhla must be vaccinated against Covid-19, show medical documents that they are not infected with the virus, have documents showing that they got infected no more than 90 days earlier, or have documents to prove that they have already completed 14-day quarantine but have to travel within 72 hours after the quarantine period,” he said.
Songkhla governor Jetsada Jittarat inspects screening measures at a checkpoint on Saturday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)