On Tuesday, local police announced that the 3 Thai women who sparked panic in Chiang Mai after sneaking back into Thailand from Myanmar while infected with COVID-19 will face serious charges.
Pol Lt Gen Prachuap Wongsuk, deputy chief of Provincial Police Region 5, which covers the upper North, including Chiang Rai, said the 3 women were on Tuesday discharged from Nakornping Hospital in the province and it was time for them to be held accountable for their actions.
Mae Sai police station in Chiang Rai has been ordered to press charges against the trio that will stand as a warning to others not to attempt similar transgressions, he said.
The three sneaked back from the Myanmar border town of Tachileik into Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district late last month.
Dr Worachet Techarak, director of Nakornping Hospital, confirmed that it was safe for the 3 women to go back home and that they were no longer contagious.
Two other COVID-19 patients were still being treated at the hospital, the doctor said.
The 3 women are likely to be charged with illegal entry, violating an order issued under a 2005 emergency decree to shut the border during the COVID-19 pandemic, and defying an order by the Chiang Rai governor to suspend border crossings on 21st March, said Pol Lt Gen Wongsuk.
The first charge carries a maximum fine of 2,000 baht, the second a maximum prison sentence of two years and/or a fine of up to 40,000 baht and the third could result in a year in jail and a 100,000-baht fine, he said.
The government’s COVID-19 information centre, meanwhile, recorded nine new cases on Tuesday, one of whom was a 30-year-old pharmacist from Ethiopia who is five months pregnant.
She arrived in Thailand on 4th November and stayed at a COVID-19 quarantine facility in Bangkok until she tested positive for COVID-19 on 18th November, the last day she was required to be in quarantine upon arriving in Thailand, said the centre in a Facebook post.
She was then transferred to a private hospital for treatment although she did not show any symptoms, according to the information given by a centre spokesman.
The other eight new infections comprised two people from Switzerland, one from the UK, one from Romania, one from the Netherlands, two from the US and one hailing from Qatar.
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