“Today is the final day of the man’s 14-day quarantine,” Dr Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO), confirmed to The Phuket News today (Jan 4).
“He is in good health. He will leave Vachira Phuket Hospital and return home tomorrow (Jan 5),” he said.
The man’s two sons, currently Phuket’s only other recognised cases of COVID-19 infections, are expected to be also discharged from Vachira Phuket Hospital on Thursday, Dr Thanit added.
“The two sons are already healthy. Their quarantine will be completed on Jan 6 [Wednesday], so that they will leave Vachira Phuket Hospital on Jan 7,” he added.
All three were taken into medical care at Vachira Phuket Hospital after each one tested positive for COVID-19. The father was confirmed as infected on Dec 21, and his two sons tested positive the next day.
All three started to exhibit flu-like symptoms, Dr Thanit reported at the time.
The man’s wife and his daughter both tested negative for the virus.
The three confirmed infections sparked a quick closure and cleansing of schools across the island as a precaution against transmission of the disease among children who had come into contact with the two sons.
Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew later issued an order allowing schools to re-open at the discretion of each school’s director, on the condition that the school submit to the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee a detailed explanation of what precautions will be taken.
Once the father and his two sons have been discharged from hospital, Phuket’s current official tally of COVID cases will return to zero, confirmed Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol.
“All of them are healthy, and not showing any further signs of infection. Their lungs have cleared, and there is also no evidence of damage to any of their organs,” Dr Chalermpong said.
Dr Chalermpong noted that the only evidence of their infection remains are dead cells still in their systems. “These cells are unable to spread,” he said.
However, the father and two sons after leaving the hospital will be required to observe another 14-day quarantine at home, Dr Chalermpong explained.
“This is a requirement by the CCSA [Centre for COVID Situation Administration],” he said.
“After all three have been discharged [from hospital], as long as there are no new cases, then Phuket’s COVID-19 record will return to zero – and I hope we will keep it at zero like this,” he said.