A tourist gets his temperature checked by a security guard in Thailand.
Two immigration officers at Bangkok's main airport have coronavirus and may have handled the passports of visitors to Thailand, a health official said Wednesday.
The men, both working at Suvarnabhumi airport, fell ill on March 7 and 8 respectively and potentially came into contact with arriving passengers in the days before their diagnosis.
One of the officers was among a team leading health screenings of Thai returnees from South Korea -- which has reported the second most COVID-19 infections in Asia after China.
"They were not working at the same spots," Sopon Iamsirithaworn of the Disease Control Department said.
"There is a chance they came into contact with foreigners or touched passports," he added.
Thailand's Interior Minister said Wednesday it will suspend visa-free arrivals from South Korea, Hong Kong and Italy, as well as visa-on-arrival from 18 countries -- including China and India.
All affected visitors must apply for visas at Thai embassies in their own countries and present a medical certificate.
Thailand's economy is heavily reliant on tourism.
The deadly virus has hammered the sector costing the country billions of dollars, mainly after Chinese tourists were quarantined on the mainland or stayed at home.
Many western visitors have also cancelled holidays or deferred bookings as Thai authorities issue a baffling barrage of advice.
After days drip-feeding conflicting information to holidaymakers, health authorities said on Friday there will be no compulsory quarantine for people from countries hardest hit by the virus.
Thailand has reported 59 cases of the new coronavirus, but there are concerns the low figure may be a reflection of very limited testing programme.
Flag carrier Thai Airways said from Friday it will suspend all flights to Italy, where over 630 people have died with around 10,000 infected so far.
One restaurant in Thailand is ensuring it meets new social distancing guidelines, and providing lonely diners a bit of company, by seating stuffed pandas at its tables.
They say they are the last of the Muslim weavers of Baan Krua, a storied neighbourhood of dilapidated wooden houses and a mosque in downtown Bangkok, nearly engulfed by the city creep of condos and skyscrapers.
Mazda, a year-old Poodle-Shih Tzu mix, is seen calmly hanging in a vest attached to the back of his owner like a backpack while she sweeps the street in a Bangkok suburb, not bothered by passersby and the traffic.
Cruising on an empty Bangkok highway, 63-year-old Nongluck Chairuettichai -- the oldest member of Thailand's longboard national team -- says taking up the sport set her on the road to recovery from breast cancer.
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The Ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the Thai government and people and to the families of the victims of this heinous crime, as well as its wishes for a speedy recovery for all the injured.
Friends hugged sobbing family members struggling with staggering loss on Friday in a rural northeastern Thailand community mourning the children and other victims slain by a fired police officer in the nation's deadliest shooting rampage.
Biden said on Thursday that the risk of nuclear "Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was "a guy I know fairly well” and the Russian leader was "not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”