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On 7 Aug 2020, the Department of Disease Control, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, was notified of 14 COVID-19 cases from Saudi Arabia. The objectives of this study were to verify diagnosis, describe characteristics of the cases and identify possible causes of infection. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted by reviewing the cases’ medical records, interviewing the cases and state quarantine staff, and surveying the environment. A confirmed COVID-19 case was defined as a passenger in a flight from Saudi Arabia on 25 Jul 2020 with positive RT-PCR. Out of 219, 14 were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Most of them were Thai students in Saudi Arabia. The median age of cases was 26 years and male to female ratio was 13:1. The median RT-PCR cycle thresholds for ORF1ab and N genes were 36 and 35. The state quarantine process mainly followed the national guidelines. These cases were likely to have contracted COVID-19 from Saudi Arabia. The risks of infection in Saudi Arabia included living together in the same dormitory and visiting crowded areas. The introduction of state quarantine and COVID-19 testing worked well in preventing new cases. The government should communicate with people planning to travel about the importance of physical distancing and avoiding any risk behaviors while being abroad.
Keywords: COVID-19, state quarantine, Thailand, Saudi Arabia
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