The recent visit of a COVID-19-infected Egyptian soldier left the eastern province of Rayong deserted as tourists cancelled their trip.
A mall near the hotel where the delegation of Egyptian soldiers stayed was quiet. An infected Egyptian soldier had been there with his colleagues before leaving Thailand.
Salespersons at the shopping center said there was not a customer and they made no sales. They admitted that the Egyptians’ visit made the mall a dangerous zone in addition to the visitors’ hotel.
Anuchida Shinsirapapha, honorary adviser to the Rayong Chamber of Commerce, said Rayong tourism was heavily affected and more than 90% of reserved guest rooms and meeting rooms under her supervision were cancelled. The incident dealt a serious blow to Rayong while its businesses were recovering well after lockdown relaxation, she said.
At Passione Shopping Destination mall, many people showed up in the morning to seek COVID-19 tests. Health officials were testing the people who were at the mall at the same time as the Egyptian soldiers including the infected one.
Tests were also available at CentralPlaza Rayong, another place where some of the Egyptian delegation visited on July 10.