The Norwegian tourist Oleheming Borgem Kolstad who recently made headlines across Thailand for disappearing before his covid-19 test results had come back positive is now sitting alone in a quarantine bungalow in Thailand, where he is waiting to recover from covid-19.
The whole ordeal made him very nervous however and it is safe to say that his holiday plans in Thailand have far from gone as planned. In an interview with Dagbladet, Ole speaks about how it felt suddenly realizing that he was wanted by Thai authorities. “I got very nervous,” he says.
Ole traveled from Norway to Bangkok on 29 December and was immediately tested upon arrival through the so-called “Test & Go” travel scheme. “My test came back negative, so I, therefore, traveled straight to the island of Koh Chang,” Ole explains.
Ole was required to take a second test 5-7 days after arrival in Thailand and he did that at the hospital in Koh Chang on 4 January. Several media outlets have since reported that Ole and another five tourists didn’t wait for their test results, which subsequently turned out to be positive. Thus, the district authorities asked for help from the police to find the infected tourists.
Ole however explains that he was told by the Hospital that they would contact him if anything was wrong with the test results so he went back to his hotel. His phone remained silent.
He says that the police had been looking for him for a few days, but he only realized three days ago how serious the situation he had ended up in was.
“The owner of the guesthouse where I live called me in the middle of dinner and explained to me what had happened. I was shocked and got very nervous. I would have never tried to run away as some newspapers claimed,” Ole says.
According to Ole, the whole thing was a complete misunderstanding. Since he had planned to stay in Thailand until 21 January, he chose to buy a local SIM card to use during the holiday and he asked the staff at the local 7 eleven store to help with the installation. Afterward, he asked them what his new number was and he gave that number to the hospital. But it turned out that the staff at 7elleven had misunderstood him and instead given him the number to the 7 eleven store which explains why Ole did not receive a phone call.
“The whole thing was just a big misunderstanding,” Ole says and adds that he also gave the hospital the address of the guesthouse he was staying at. He was still worried that the Thai authorities would not believe him or understand what had actually happened but the owner of the guesthouse where he stayed spent a lot of time explaining the situation to the police which seemed to help.
Ole is in good shape now and even says that he has no symptoms of covid. He is tested twice a day and has been told by a doctor that because he has no symptoms he can travel again on 14 January. “It is not completely confirmed, but I hope so,” says Ole, who believes that he was infected on New Year’s Eve.
Ole knows several people on the island of Koh Chang and he plans to go there again after he is released from isolation. Although the situation was far from funny at the time, he does admit that it will properly make for a good story when he returns home to Norway.