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Dozens more placed under quarantine after contact with South Korean soldier

Dozens more placed under quarantine after contact with South Korean soldier

THAILAND: The number of people who came into close contact with a South Korean soldier who tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home from the kingdom has increased to 235, according to Opas Kankawinphong, acting director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

CoronavirusCOVID-19healthmilitary
By Bangkok Post

Friday 13 November 2020, 10:22AM


Soldiers shake hands at the end of a Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand in March 2020. Photo: AFP.

Soldiers shake hands at the end of a Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand in March 2020. Photo: AFP.

Over 170 Thai military officers are currently under quarantine after attending a meeting along with the South Korean officer during a Cobra Gold training exercise last week in Rayong.

Dr Opas said out of the 235 people identified, 210 are Thais who were considered at risk of having contracted COVID-19 from the South Korean national.

He said 194 of the 210 had been tested for COVID-19, and 163 tested negative. The rest are either waiting for their results (31) or waiting to be tested (16), Dr Opas said.

The people who had been in close contact with the infected soldier included 181 military officers, five police officers, two United States diplomats and 14 hotel employees, he said, referring to the 202 people initially believed to be at-risk after coming in close contact with the South Korean.

Dr Opas noted that 33 additional people were now considered to be at risk.

Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTAF) spokesman, Lt Gen Chaowalit Sangkarit, said the South Korean tested negative for the virus and showed no symptoms before departing Thailand.

The officer arrived on Oct 17 and was tested while isolated in an alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facility in Bangkok until Nov 1.

He attended the meeting and military exercises on Nov 2-6, Lt Gen Chaowalit said.

The officer is said to have not left the ASQ facility during his stay. However, he tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving at Incheon Airport on Nov 8.

The RTAF has ordered its officers who attended the meeting with the South Korean to be tested and quarantined, the spokesman said.

The Public Health Ministry has not confirmed whether the South Korean’s infection was considered a local case.

Five new cases were reported yesterday (Nov 12), all quarantined arrivals from Germany, Sweden, Iran, Kenya and Switzerland, raising the total to 3,852.

Four of them were Thais and the other was a German national, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

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