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Vachira Hospital centre for virus checks aims to stifle Phuket panic

Vachira Hospital centre for virus checks aims to stifle Phuket panic

PHUKET: Vachira Phuket Hospital has set up a “Respiratory disease screening point” where people can be checked to see if they have contracted the Wuhan coronavirus after the hospital was inundated with more than 100 people presenting themselves each day to see if they had been infected.

healthCoronavirusCOVID-19
By Khunanya Wanchanwet

Thursday 6 February 2020, 03:42PM


The move to set up the centre is to stop public fears of coronavirus getting out of control, Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol said yesterday (Feb 5).

The centre is open 8:30am to 10pm every day, Dr Chalermpong told The Phuket News.

“To aim is to reduce the public’s fear of the coronavirus, plus we want to reduce the risk of various other diseases from spreading. It is easier and faster for doctors to help tourists and citizens this way,” he said.

For the past week more than 100 people have presented themselves at the hospital to be checked for the virus, Dr Chalermpong confirmed.

“But that number is now decreasing as people learn and understand more about the virus,” he added.

Any persons presenting themselves at the screening point will be checked for the basic symptoms of the disease.

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So far, no people have been confirmed as infected with the Wuhan flu, Dr Chalermpong said.

“Most people come here because they are worried that they have a cough, but it is only a normal cough, not the coronavirus. The people we have checked didn’t even have a fever,” he said.

Any persons suspected of having contracted the virus will have a blood sample taken to be tested, Dr Chalermpong explained.

“And hospital staff will taken them into care,” he added.

Any persons who suspect they have been infected with the virus are urged to call the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) Disease Control Division at 076-211330 ext 1330-1 for Thai and English.

Alternatively, people can call the national Department of Disease Control (DDC) hotline 1422.

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