The permanent secretary for public health, Sukhum Kanchanaphimai, made the remark after 11 people tested positive following a night out with visitors from Hong Kong late last month. (See story here).
Dr Sukhum dismissed reports that the group may be “super spreaders”, saying that the patients and some 70 members of their families have been thoroughly tested and are now safe and under observation.
He also said that the COVID-19 epidemic has yet to reach Stage 3 – defined as rapidly spreading with considerable patient numbers at the community level.
“We are trying to prevent Thailand from entering the third phase [of the outbreak],” he said.
Of the 70 COVID-19 cases so far found in Thailand, 34 people have been discharged while 24 are still in hospital – with one in serious condition at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute.
In a related development, Central Pattana (CPN), a SET-listed property and retail developer under Central Group, yesterday issued a statement dismissing social media reports claiming that the 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases had visited the Groove Zone in CentralWorld.
The statement added that 33 Central shopping malls nationwide have stepped up their coronavirus control measures, such as regularly spraying disinfectants and checking temperatures of all staff members.
Chulalongkorn University posted a related message, denying that one of the COVID-19 cases was a student there.