11 July 2024

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health today announced 11 new COVID-19 cases, saying that they had been sharing the same glass of whisky and cigarette.

The new cases bring total infections in Thailand to 70, with 35 of them having recovered and one fatality.

Public health permanent secretary Dr. Sukhum Kanchanapimai told a news conference this morning that all 11 cases are Thai people with a history of close contact with a friend from Hong Kong, who has already left for home.

The group met on February 21st, 27th and 29th as they went to enjoy Bangkok’s night life, “drinking from the same glass of whisky and smoking the same cigarette in an enclosed air-conditioned room for a long time,” said Dr. Sukhum.

He maintained, however, that the 11 new cases are not considered to be “super spreaders”, which means a person capable of transmitting the virus to a large number of people and that this kind of transmission has not happened yet in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Dr. Thavee Chotepittayasunon, a specialist member of the National Infectious Disease Committee said, during a TV appearance, that Thailand will inevitably enter Stage 3 of COVID-19 spread, citing the steady increase in new infections.

“COVID-19 is a community disease.  Suppose, one day, an infected person arrives in an isolated countryside community and 5-7 people become infected.  This is Stage 3,” he explained.

Dr. Thavee, however, assured that the Ministry of Public Health has been preparing medics and venues for quite some to cope with the worst-case scenario.

He said that the death rate from the coronavirus is currently 1%-3%, adding any cure for the contagion is still in the trial stage.

Dismissing the idea of locking down the whole country, to prevent people from entering Thailand, Dr. Thavee said that COVID-19 will not disappear just because the borders are closed.

Related story: Thailand reports six new cases today