Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Thailand today
Two more new COVID-19 cases were confirmed today by Thailand’s Public Health Ministry, bringing the total to 50. Of those, 31 have fully recovered and most have returned home, leaving 18 still in hospital and one fatality.
Public health permanent secretary Dr. Sukhum Kanhanapimai told a news conference today that the two new cases are both Thai nationals, aged about 40, who are among a group of six being kept under close watch after their return from a business trip to Italy.
One is being treated at Rajavithi Hospital and the other at Nopparat Ratchathani Hospital.
Dr. Sukhum said that, since the six were isolated for observation, no other people have been exposed.
Regarding a Thai female worker, who returned from South Korea and was found to have a fever upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi international airport on March 5th, two laboratory tests have come back negative for the virus, whereas a severe case at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute is currently in critical condition, although he has been cleared of COVID-19.
Public Health Ministry spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin, meanwhile, said that the public have been alerted to the virus outbreak and the ministry’s hotline 1422 has recently been flooded with more than 2,000 calls a day, compared to the normal rate of about 100.
He said that the ministry has opened new social media channels, on Facebook, Line, Twitter, a web page and the “Kor-Ror-ok” Chatbox, to answer questions from the public about coronavirus.
Besides the four countries designated as Dangerous Infectious Disease Zones, Dr. Thaweesilp said that there are several more European countries on the ministry’s watch list. He asked Thai people, who have visited these countries, to monitor their health upon their return, for the public’s sake as well as their own.
He also urged the media not to focus on just the negative aspects of the situation, but to include positive elements as well, such as the distribution of free food to Thai returnees from high-risk countries as they voluntarily observe self-quarantine.