6 June 2024

An asymptomatic COVID-19 patient, who returned to his hometown in Wiang Sa District of Thailand’s northern province of Nan from a COVID-19 “dark red” zone without isolating or notifying authorities, has spread the disease to at least 23 people in his community and put more than 300 other people at risk.

Dr. Warinthep Chuasamran, the Nan provincial health chief, said that among the 23 people who tested positive for COVID-19 are 11 young children at a care centre in Soeng sub-district, including a four-month baby, and an 80-year old man.

He linked the cluster of infections to an unidentified returnee, a relative of the caretaker of the child care centre, saying that he did not report his return to local officials and stayed with a relative for about two weeks before falling sick last weekend and testing positive for COVID-19, along with his mother.

He said health officials then screened the returnee’s remaining family and the children at the child care centre. 23 of them were found to be infected.

Provincial health officials then conducted mass screening in four villages in Soeng sub-district, which contains over 1,000 households.

Results of the mass testing are not yet available, but more than 300 people have been classified as being at high risk, due to for their close contact with the 23 already infected, and they have been placed in home isolation.