Bangkok, 21 January, 2020 – Thai health authorities have confirmed that two 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) cases in Chinese travellers from Wuhan were brought under control thanks to the country’s effective health surveillance systems. Meanwhile, amid concerns reported in international media, the British tourist is not infected with the virus.
Since 3 January, Thailand has set up four infrared thermo scan units at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai and Phuket International Airports for round-the-clock screening of all passengers, especially from China.
As a result of the effective health surveillance systems, Thailand was able to swiftly detect the first 2019-nCoV case in a 61-year-old woman from Wuhan when she arrived in Thailand on 8 January. She was quarantined and treated in an isolation ward at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute. The airport screening also detected the second 2019-nCoV case in a 74-year-old Chinese woman travelling from Wuhan and arriving in Thailand on 13 January.
Meanwhile, Thai health authorities have confirmed that the 32-year-old British patient is not infected with the 2019-nCoV amid concerns reported in international media. He has no history of travelling to Wuhan, China before Thailand, and is not on the list of patients under investigation for the 2019-nCoV pneumonia. His conditions were influenza with necrotising pneumonia and bilateral pleural effusion.
The Ministry of Public Health has confirmed that there is no outbreak of the 2019-nCoV in Thailand and has advised the public not to panic. Thailand has an effective surveillance and screening system for disease control thanks to extensive experience in dealing with medical conditions; such as, SARS, MERS, avian flu and others. If any suspected cases are identified, they will be immediately quarantined and subjected to further tests.
The Ministry also advises Thai and international tourists, who are travelling from Wuhan, China within 14 days to seek immediate medical advice and treatment if they are experiencing these emergency warning signs: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and shortness of breath, or contact the Department of Disease Control hotline 1422.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with Thailand and other countries to further understand infections caused by this new coronavirus and to ensure that they are prevented and controlled (https://www.who.int/thailand/news/detail/20-01-2020-update-information-on-the-novel-coronavirus).