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PCR test in Thailand for travel abroad


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I asked in a Chiang Rai hospital about getting a PCR test prior to travelling abroad .

They told me that if the test came back positive , then I would be required to spend 14 days in a hospital quarantine, even if I was asymptomatic . 

  The estimated cost was 200 000 Baht + , is this the same situation for the whole of Thailand ?

The hospital staff told  me that it was the provinces rules for people testing positive .

Do all provinces have the same rule ?

And how can they possibly justify charging 200 000 Baht for a 14 day hospital stay whist not needing to give treatment during that time ?

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Unfortunately all true.

 

The high cost is due to need for special  negative air pressure  isolation rooms, protective clothing for al lwho enter etc

 

One of the reasons they are requiring insurance of everyone entering the country.

 

You will not be totally without treatment, you'll get oral antivirals and your vital signs and Oxygen saturation will be monitored. But the big price tag is the isolation room etc.

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1 minute ago, Sheryl said:

Unfortunately all true.

 

The high cost is due to need for special  negative air pressure  isolation rooms.

By negative air pressure, do you mean an extractor fan?   LOL

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8 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

Hardly.

 

The last thing they would want is an extractor fan.

 

The air pressure i nthe room is lower than outside so that air from the room will not flow outside.

 

Good explanation here  https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Negative-Pressure-Rooms.aspx

 

Needs special engineering and is not cheap to do

 

 

Why is it that Thais who test positive can go and sit in a field hospital for 14 days for free , yet those travelling abroad need to go into a pressurized hospital room at great expense ?

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1 hour ago, Mac Mickmanus said:

Why is it that Thais who test positive can go and sit in a field hospital for 14 days for free , yet those travelling abroad need to go into a pressurized hospital room at great expense ?

I'm not sure about this ‘pressurised hospital’ room....  thats biocontainment level 3... not many places are set up for that.

 

 

I think the treatment / response is variable and depends on hospital / province and symptoms. 

 

I know a handful of people in Bangkok who have recently tested RT-PCR Positive and the options were somewhat unclear and variable but seemed to workout. 

 

One family were PCR tested - contacted the next day, told they were positive and told to go into hospital. They drove themselves there, where they stayed for 3 days, no symptoms developed - they were released and told to stay at home for another 11 days. 

They could have stayed in hospital if they wanted to.

Another person I know chose to isolate in hospital (his wife at home tested negative).

 

If I am not mistaken, those who have symptoms would be ‘encouraged’ to remain in hospitals for treatment.

 

There are also ‘hospitels’ (hotel-hospitals) - hotels with medical facilities brought in where people can isolate if they so wish (and pay for, or insurance pays for).

 

 

Thus: IF I test RT-PCR positive I am of the ‘assumption’ that I’ll be given the following options: 

- Take myself to hospital - Stay there for a day or three until confirmed asymptomatic - permitted home to isolate. But my Wife and son are at home, if they also test positive without symptoms we isolate at home together for 14 days. 

If Wife and Son are negative, I remain in hospital or move to a hospitel - Insurance pays. 

 

If someone doesn’t have insurance things may get difficult - if no symptoms, they (whoever) can go home or if home conditions are not suitable (shared living) a Thai may opt to go to a government isolation facility.

A foreigner would either go home or if home conditions are not suitable (shared living) they’d have to go to a hospitel (hotel-hospital / i.e. quarantine hotel) - they’d have to pay, but its cheaper than a hospital. 

 

 

All of that said: I am not 100% positive that all hospitals treat people in the same manner. Different provinces may also have different rules. Those rules may also be impacted by their living situation. 

 

Personally - before I do any PCR test in Thailand I’d take a lateral flow test just to be sure and if I’m positive both myself and family remain at home for 14 days (we’ve all already been exposed). If we have concerning symptoms, then we’d go to hospital. 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, persimmon said:

I know some airlines require a negative PCR before boarding , so , if a traveller tested + the day before his flight and a couple of days before his visa expired , would that result in an overstay and fine ?

Not if s/he obtained an extension on medical grounds. Easily done with a letter from the hospital. Someone else can go to do it for him/her.

 

If they fail to do this then yes, would be on overstay and fined.

 

Sometimes people mistakenly think that if there was a good reason, that's enough. It is not - one must go through the established procedures and get an extension of permission to stay stamped into the passport.

 

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43 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

I'm not sure about this ‘pressurised hospital’ room....  thats biocontainment level 3... not many places are set up for that.

 

 

I think the treatment / response is variable and depends on hospital / province and symptoms. 

 

I know a handful of people in Bangkok who have recently tested RT-PCR Positive and the options were somewhat unclear and variable but seemed to workout. 

 

One family were PCR tested - contacted the next day, told they were positive and told to go into hospital. They drove themselves there, where they stayed for 3 days, no symptoms developed - they were released and told to stay at home for another 11 days. 

They could have stayed in hospital if they wanted to.

Another person I know chose to isolate in hospital (his wife at home tested negative).

 

If I am not mistaken, those who have symptoms would be ‘encouraged’ to remain in hospitals for treatment.

 

There are also ‘hospitels’ (hotel-hospitals) - hotels with medical facilities brought in where people can isolate if they so wish (and pay for, or insurance pays for).

 

 

Thus: IF I test RT-PCR positive I am of the ‘assumption’ that I’ll be given the following options: 

- Take myself to hospital - Stay there for a day or three until confirmed asymptomatic - permitted home to isolate. But my Wife and son are at home, if they also test positive without symptoms we isolate at home together for 14 days. 

If Wife and Son are negative, I remain in hospital or move to a hospitel - Insurance pays. 

 

If someone doesn’t have insurance things may get difficult - if no symptoms, they (whoever) can go home or if home conditions are not suitable (shared living) a Thai may opt to go to a government isolation facility.

A foreigner would either go home or if home conditions are not suitable (shared living) they’d have to go to a hospitel (hotel-hospital / i.e. quarantine hotel) - they’d have to pay, but its cheaper than a hospital. 

 

 

All of that said: I am not 100% positive that all hospitals treat people in the same manner. Different provinces may also have different rules. Those rules may also be impacted by their living situation. 

 

Personally - before I do any PCR test in Thailand I’d take a lateral flow test just to be sure and if I’m positive both myself and family remain at home for 14 days (we’ve all already been exposed). If we have concerning symptoms, then we’d go to hospital. 

 

 

 

I am aware of the inconsistancies and variation in what is done for Thais (and, less often, resident expats) in this regard.

 

But with newly arrived foreigners testing positive in quarantine (including the initial Test & Go period) they may  not budge from requiring hospitalization. Hence the insistence on insurance.

 

They are indeed using negative pressure rooms for all COVID patients in private hospitals (and this is not the same as "biocontainment level 3", that is a designation for laboratories). This is why there was until recently such a shortage of hospital beds for COVID patients despite those hospitals' overall bed occupancy rates being very low. Only certain rooms could be used and converting others to negative pressure takes time and money.

 

Use of negative pressure rooms is standard of care for people with infectious respiratory (or respiratory-borne) illnesses.

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2 hours ago, Steps said:

Me and my 6 year old daughter will be traveling to the UK. She wont need a PCR test right?

 

 

It would seem that she might need to follow the testing and quarantine rules that are applicable to travellers who are fully vaccinated.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Travelling with children

Children aged 4 and under do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.

Children of all ages do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England.

Children aged 5 to 17 have to follow the testing and quarantine rules for people who qualify as fully vaccinated on arrival in England.

This means that they have to quarantine on arrival and take a PCR test on or before day 2.

Check the rules in this guidance for people who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England for more details.

You should also check the rules in the country you are travelling from as they may require children to take a test at the start of your journey to England.

There are different rules for children who have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before they arrive in England.

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