There is no “Italian coronavirus” – Italian envoy
There is no new strain of coronavirus originating in Italy as claimed by a Thai doctor, according to the Italian ambassador to Thailand.
A senior Thai health official also dismissed claims that there are other strains of coronavirus besides Covid-19 spreading.
“The notion of an Italian coronavirus is scientifically unfounded. The one that was sequenced in Italy doesn’t present differences from the one originating in Wuhan,” Italian Ambassador Lorenzo Galanti said in his Facebook post on Friday, quoting the Italian Institute of Health.
The Italian envoy was responding to a news report by ThaiPBS World which quoted a Thai specialist in respiratory diseases, Dr. Manoon Leechawengwong, as saying that Covid-19 was spread among many who were at the Lumpini boxing stadium on March 6 by a boxing fan who contracted the disease from a relative who had returned from Italy. Manoon claimed that the coronavirus ravaging Italy is a more vicious version than the virus in Asia.
Ambassador Galanti dismissed the claim. “I believe the readers of @ThaiPBSWorld deserve accurate information on such a topic,” he said in his post.
His view is supported by Suppakit Sirilak, deputy permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, who said last night it has not been scientifically proven that there are other strains of Covid-19 spreading at the moment.
“Definitely, there is no such thing as Italian coronavirus as some have claimed,” he told Thai PBS during a special programme “Thailand Fights Covid-19” on Friday night.