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95% say ‘no foreigners’ to prevent 2nd Covid wave

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Most expect second wave, second lockdown

A vast majority of Thais — 94.51% — say foreigners should be barred from entering the country to prevent a second wave of the Covid-19 spread, according to an opinion survey by the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was carried out online on July 14-18 on 1,459 people throughout the country to gauge their reactions to the cases of an Egyptian soldier and a Sudanese girl found to be infected with Covid-19 after they were allowed to enter the country.

Asked how they felt after hearing about the two cases, 52.23% of respondents said they were very worried; 39.68% fairly worried; 6.58% slightly worried; and 1.51% not worried at all.

Asked to mention “five things” that would worry them if there were a new wave of the Covid-19 spread, with each respondent allowed to give more than one answer, 95.89% cited the degree to which the disease spread; 94.45% unemployment; 92.05% shutdown of businesses; 84.17% their children’s schooling; and 84.17% another lockdown announcement.

A large majority, 73.82%, thought the chance that Thailand would announce a second lockdown was high while 26.18% said this was unlikely.

Asked to suggest ways of preventing a new wave of the pandemic, 94.51% said foreigners should definitely not be allowed to enter Thailand; 86.41% said the process of screening and quarantine of people returning from abroad must be stringent; 83.80% said people must wear face masks while outdoors and frequently wash their hands; 81.40% said people must be given correct and clear information about the virus, and 76.73% said people should be given free testing for Covid-19.

Asked what the government should do to ease the people’s concerns about the novel coronavirus, 47.38% said the screening and quarantine process must be made more stringent, without exemptions for “privileged” people; 33.43% said punishments should be imposed on those who violate the ban on foreigners entering Thailand; and 23.20% said the government must quickly solve coronavirus-related problems that could affect the people.

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