Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Discovery of fifth case in Thailand ‘shows screening effective’

Discovery of fifth case in Thailand ‘shows screening effective’

THAILAND: The Public Health Ministry yesterday (Jan 24) confirmed the fifth case of a Sars-like coronavirus in Thailand but assured that all necessary precautionary measures had been taken to prevent the disease from spreading.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 25 January 2020, 11:32AM

Health officials prepare to screen visitors at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province. Photo: Bangkok Post

Health officials prepare to screen visitors at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province. Photo: Bangkok Post

Speaking after visiting the female patient at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said the latest case is a 33-year-old Chinese woman who travelled from Wuhan, the source of the outbreak.

According to Mr Sathit, she arrived in Thailand on Jan 21, just before Wuhan was locked down, and checked herself in at Rajavithi Hospital on Jan 23 after developing a fever and cough. Doctors suspected coronavirus and two lab tests confirmed she had contracted the virus, officially known as 2019-nCoV.

He said the patient’s condition was improving but doctors were also monitoring the health of her seven-year-old daughter who accompanied her to Thailand.

Mr Sathit said the discovery of the latest case indicated that measures, including checking incoming passengers at airports and handing out health guidelines, were effective.

“She came to the hospital after reading a health advisory given to passengers from at-risk areas,” he said.

Of the country’s five confirmed cases, four are Chinese nationals and one is Thai. All five had either visited and/or lived in Wuhan recently.

The first case, a 61-year-old female tourist from China, was confirmed on Jan 13. On Jan 17, a 74-year-old Chinese woman also tested positive for the virus. On Jan 22 test results for a 68-year-old Chinese man who displayed symptoms also came back positive.

The fourth case is a 73-year-old Thai woman who is being treated at a hospital in Nakhon Pathom.

Dr Thana Khawcharoenporn, an infectious disease specialist, stressed the need to monitor the outbreak closely since it was not yet clear how infectious the virus is. However, Thailand is well-prepared to cope with the outbreak, saying a good indication was that patients discovered so far had all travelled from Wuhan.

The Kasikorn Research Centre (KRC) said the lockdown of Wuhan shortly ahead of Chinese New Year would only slightly affect the number of Chinese tourists in Thailand, with the forecast clipped from 366,000 to 355,000-358,000.

Meanwhile, Vichit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, assessed the consequences after the Chinese government told local tour operators to stop leading tour groups abroad, saying that Thailand will lose around 50 billion baht from the 1.2-1.3 million Chinese travellers who will not visit the country over the next two months.

“Among the 900,000 Chinese travellers who visit Thailand each month, 50% come with tour groups which are directly affected by the recent order from the government. Although independent travellers are excluded from the prohibition, some of them must be worried and may decide not to travel as well,” he said.

Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn admitted any marketing campaigns targeting Chinese tourists now would be fruitless given the Chinese government’s severe restrictions on travellers to prevent the deadly coronavirus from spreading.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Kurt | 27 January 2020 - 12:35:47

China warns: Virus can spread before symptoms appear. It's going to be a pandemic.

Kurt | 27 January 2020 - 09:52:58

We may expect that many arriving Chinese tourists passed the arrival virus screening at Thai airports with flying colours.  Just to get sick while being in Thailand, due to incubation time, and spread the disease in Thailand. There should be this moment a quarantine period of 14 days for chinese arrivals before they allowed to move freely in Thailand. Present screening is not enough.

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
17 children rescued from Patong human-trafficking gang

" Sometime silence speaks more than talking" Yes K.,you should stick to that more frequent...(Read More)

Motorcycle taxi driver hospitalised in knife attack on Bangla Road

It should be forbidden that motor cycle-, taxi- and Van drivers have weapons with them while working...(Read More)

Government accused of being too submissive to China

@ Gerry, wrong thinking, sir. Anyone living in Thailand may ask questions about education/skills/b...(Read More)

#PhuketOK aims to rejuvenate local tourism industry

I use to love going to Phuket and I've been 4 times. After the last time I went in August 2019 I...(Read More)

Warrant issued for Plodprasop’s arrest

How thai since 1998 can make each other's life miserable. One can't make it up....(Read More)

Tourism Ministry considers collecting tourism fees

So they give the Chinese free entry without visas into the country and they turn around and charge a...(Read More)

17 children rescued from Patong human-trafficking gang

Well, it is clear. 'All done' by Bangkok. Not by Patong police. Why not? The Patong police C...(Read More)

COVID-19 infected man conceals truth, national total hits 40

If he recovers, there should be criminal charges for his stupid, selfish, dangerous and negligent ac...(Read More)

Looking to India for relief: Growth in Indian tourist arrivals may alleviate COVID-19 fallout

I have always found Indian people to be polite, good humored and family orientated. They are also qu...(Read More)

Motorcycle taxi driver hospitalised in knife attack on Bangla Road

If it turns out he was (and I have no doubt he WAS) carrying a knife while working he should have hi...(Read More)