Prisoner is the first locally acquired COVID case in Thailand in about 100 days
Thailand today reported the first locally transmitted case of COVID-19 infection in about 100 days.
According to Dr. Walairat Chaifu, director of the Epidemiology Division, the new case is a detainee, whose name is being withheld, on remand in the central rehabilitation facility of the Corrections Department who was tested twice, both positive, with the latest test being conducted on September 2nd.
A trace of the patient’s movements, as far back as August 12th, indicates that he lived with five family members at a condominium in the Bang Mod area. Health officials have been looking for two of them who are currently elsewhere in Thailand.
The detainee worked as a DJ at two venues in the Rama III area and also at a café in the Khao Sarn area. He attnded court on August 26th, together about 20 other suspects, lawyers and prison guards.
Dr. Walairat said that 35 detainees have been isolated and 34 have been tested, with negative results. Two volunteers and two prison guards have also been tested.
Mr. Veerakit Harnpripan, Deputy Director-General of the Corrections Department, said that, out of some 300,000 inmates held in prisons across the country, only two have been found to be infected with COVID-19 during the screening process.
He assured that the new infection will not affect other inmates, because the infected person has been sent to the department’s hospital, while 34 fellow detainees, who were in close contact with him, have also been sent to hospital for monitoring.
Disease Control Department Director-General Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Public Health Ministry and other related authorities to inform the public about the new case and to remind the them to observe precautionary measures, such as the wearing of face masks in public, regular hand washing and social distancing.
Meanwhile, Dr. Metheepote Chatamethhikul, Director of Communicable Disease Control Division of City Hall, said that workers have been sent to the detainee’s condominium, his work places, the prison in which he was detained and the courtroom for cleaning and sanitization.