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Phuket officials release details of island’s third COVID death

Phuket officials release details of island’s third COVID death

PHUKET: Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol has released details of the death of the 69-year-old Australian man who became the third fatality on the island directly related to COVID-19, including that the man had received hospital treatment for 38 days.

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By The Phuket News

Wednesday 6 May 2020, 08:18PM


Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol said the man had received hospital treatment for 38 days. Screenshot: PR Phuket / Facebook

Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol said the man had received hospital treatment for 38 days. Screenshot: PR Phuket / Facebook

Speaking at a press conference held at Phuket Provincial Hall this afternoon (May 6), Dr Chalermpong explained that the man, who worked as a hotel manager in Khao Lak, had several preexisting health conditions.

The man had asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure and he was overweight, Dr Chalermpong said.

The man already had breathing difficulties, he added.

The man’s family lived in Nai Harn, where he stayed in a house together with his wife, two children, and a relative’s child, he said.

The man had constant close contact with other foreigners. He went to a private clinic three times, on Mar 21, 24, and 27, for coughing and fever, Dr Chalermpong explained today.

On Mar 28, the man was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where he underwent an x-ray examination and tested for COVID-19.

On Mar 29, the results confirmed that he tested positive for the virus, and doctors started him on a course of antibiotics, Dr Chalermpong said.

Officials publicly reported that the man had tested positive for the virus, as “Case 63”, on Mar 31.

On Apr 1, the infection in the man’s lungs became worse, and doctors had to change the antibiotics being administered, Dr Chalermpong said.

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“On April 7, there was infection in his blood and high fever,” he continued.

From April 8-20, the man’s condition kept deteriorating. His lungs became smaller and his kidneys started work improperly, and he was put on dialysis, Dr Chalermpong said.

On April 21, the infection on the lungs spread even further, making breathing even more difficult.

On April 22-30, the man suffered renal failure and needed dialysis every day, Dr Chalermpong noted.

“From May 1-5, his symptoms became critical and he became unconscious, and eventually he passed away at 5:35pm,” Dr Chalermpong said.

The man had received medical treatment for 38 days, he added.

Dr Chalermpong today said that 33 people had high risk exposure to this patient. Four people had close contact with him, and only one person had been confirmed as infected from this patient.

On Apr 3 officials confirmed that a Thai woman, 56, an accountant at a hotel in Nai Harn, had been confirmed as infected (Case 91), The woman had a history of contact with the 69-year-old Australian hotel manager. The woman also had a history of contact with foreign tourists. The woman became ill on Mar 14. Twelve people had high risk exposure to her.

The next day (Apr 4), that woman’s daughter, a Thai woman, 27, who worked as a Chinese language teacher, was confirmed as infected with COVID-19 (Case 107). The daughter was also reported to have had close contact with foreign tourists. However, the report at that time did not note when the daughter became ill, but did mark that no people had high risk exposure to this patient.

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