Dr Thanit gave the warning today (Mar 24) as he revealed that four of the nine new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Phuket came from Patong.
The nine new cases bring to 26 the official total number of people in Phuket confirmed as infected with the virus since the outbreak began.
According to a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department, Dr Thanit confirmed that health officials have checked 1,259,709 people at the airport and a further 38,327 checked at “other ports” since the outbreak began.
So far 46 people have been put under observation for possible infection of the virus, said the table. Of these were nine “new cases”, he said.
Of the 655, 607“Persons Under Investigation” (PUI) had been checked and gone home. The remaining 46 remain in hospital under observation.
Of those 46 still in hospital, 24 are waiting for test results to confirm whether they have COVID-19.
Dr Thanit gave limited details of the new cases announced today as follows:
Case 18. A Thai woman, 33, a waitress in an entertainment area in Soi Bangla, Patong, who has a history of touching tourists of many nationalities. She became ill last Monday (Mar 16).
Case 19. A Frenchman, 56, an engineer who traveled as a tourist with his wife from France on March 15. He became ill last Wednesday (Mar 18).
Case 20. A Swedish woman, 25, a flight attendant who usually works on flights between Spain and Sweden. Last Friday (Mar 20), she was on a flight from Sweden to Phuket and became ill that same day.
Case 21. A Thai woman, 35, a customer service staffer (industry not defined). The woman has no history of traveling abroad, but was in frequent contact with many tourists from risk countries. She became ill last Friday (Mar 20).
Case 22. A Thai woman, 26, freelance (occupation and industry not defined), she visited entertainment places in Soi Bangla Patong often. She has been sick since last Friday on (Mar 20).
Case 23. A Thai woman, 27, a dancer in an entertainment area in Soi Bangla, Patong. She became ill on Sunday (Mar 22).
Case 24. A Thai man, 28, a security guard in an entertainment area in Soi Bangla, Patong. He became ill last Thursday (Mar 19).
Case 25. A Thai woman, 62, a business woman who traveled to Switzerland and European countries. She became ill while staying abroad and hurried back to receive treatment in Phuket. The date when the woman first became ill was not recorded.
Case 26. A Frenchman, 62, a golf coach, who traveled from Spain and Germany. He became ill on the day that he arrived in Phuket. The date the man became ill was not noted.
“All patients are under investigation by the Phuket public health team,” Dr Thanit said.
“The nine new patients today have been classified into two groups: patients who were infected in European countries, and patients who have a history of being involved in the entertainment industry.
“Most of these new patients have mild symptoms,” he said.
“These people went out and about as they normally would, which increased their risk of being infected,” Dr Thanit noted.
In his express warning for people in contact with anyone who works or lives in Patong, Dr Thanit said, “If anyone used to visit or work in Patong or come into close contact with people from Patong in the past few weeks, if you now have a fever, sore throat and cough – you must put on a mask, keep distance from other people and see a doctor immediately.
“We are keeping under surveillance and tracking people who came from risk areas, and entertainment venues have been ordered to close already, in order to help prevent the decease from spreading.
“The closures [enforced so far] help to reduce the chance of social activities which risk transmission and infection,” he said.
“Please, to reduce the risk of becoming infected, minimise your social activities and avoid any other unnecessary public activities, and try to stay inside your accommodation,” he added.