Thailand announced on Wednesday that it would allow some foreign tourists who have traveled to the country with H5N1 bird flu to bypass quarantine to allow them to participate in activities such as rafting.
In an effort to prevent the spread of the H5N1 virus that has killed more than 90 people in Asia since 2012, Thai health officials have been searching for ways to limit the number of people who have caught bird flu. Thailand has been one of the most affected nations, with three cases reported so far this year.
But the initial decision to quarantine traveling tourists from Indonesia, China, Vietnam and other countries has backfired. It has made the Thai government a poster child for free-spirited travelers across the globe, especially foreign reporters who have expressed relief that they can risk losing their lungs in the island resort town of Phi Phi Leh, near the Cambodian border.
In a press conference on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said it was not yet comfortable with the Thai government’s plan to let visitors with confirmed or suspected bird flu travel for free, The Associated Press reported.