Police search for infected tourist

The search for a recent Israeli arrival who left his Bangkok hotel without waiting for his Covid-19 test result, which later returned positive, has shifted to Koh Samui.

Police search for infected tourist
The infected 29-year-old Israeli tourist, seated left, who left his Bangkok hotel without waiting for his Covid-19 test result, surrenders to police at a restaurant on Koh Samui in Surat Thani on Wednesday. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)

An Israeli tourist who sparked a manhunt after leaving his Bangkok hotel without waiting for his Covid-19 test result, which proved positive, surrendered to police on Koh Samui on Wednesday afternoon.

He initially headed to Pattaya, but later went south to the holiday island.

Ohad Baruch, 29, surrendered shortly after noon.

Samui's district chief, senior police and health officials went to Samui Piar Bangrak restaurant to collect Mr Baruch around 12.30pm.

He earlier contacted authorities saying he wanted to surrender .

After talks, he was taken to Koh Samui Hospital by ambulance for Covid-19 testing.

The man arrived in Thailand in the early hours of Dec 17 and was quarantined at a hotel in the Sukhumvit area.

However, he left the hotel the next day without waiting for his Covid test result and reportedly took a taxi to Pattaya around 2pm. About the same time, the hotel was informed that the man's test was positive for the coronavirus. Hotel staff reported his absence to Thong Lor police.

A source said the tourist arrived in Pattaya and tried to check in at a hotel, but failed to produce his passport and the hotel rejected him.

The police team checked his mobile phone use record around 10.30pm on Dec 18 and found that he had turned off his phone.

Reports said he had returned to Bangkok on Dec 19 and had rented a van to the southern provinces. There was a photo of him in Chumphon on Monday morning before he went to Koh Samui in the afternoon of that day.

Thong Lor police have asked the Department of Disease Control to file a complaint against the tourist for failing to abide by disease control measures. The offence carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and/or a fine of 40,000 baht.