Vendors at Chatuchak market in Bangkok were wearing masks they hoped would protect them from infection. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Health officials are monitoring flu patients to better contain the novel coronavirus as both diseases produce similar symptoms.
Dr Narong Aphikulvanich, deputy director-general of the Department of Medical Services, said that hospitals in provinces popular with Chinese tourists would set up special clinics to examine people being treated for influenza in particular.
This would help with the early detection of novel coronavirus infections, as the two viruses produce similar symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing and fever, Dr Narong said.
The Public Health Ministry estimated that 200,000 people were infected with flu each day, but only a small number sought treatment at hospitals.
Dr Tawee Chotpitayasunondh, the ministry's senior medical consultant, said the special clinics would focus on Chinese and other patients involved in tourism activities or who come in contact with Chinese tourists.
These clinics were planned for Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Krabi and Phuket provinces, he said.
On Monday, the number of confirmed local coronavirus cases remained at 32, 10 of whom have been discharged from hospitals. Two of the nine Thai patients were in critical condition. Another 689 ill people were being monitored for possible coronavirus infection.
The Public Health Ministry rejected as untrue a report the virus could travel a long distance through the air, like TB bacteria. The coronavirus could travel only a few metres in droplets from coughs and sneezes.
On Monday afternoon, the global coronavirus death toll stood at 910 with confirmed cases exceeding 40,500, and more than 3,400 patients recovered, agencies reported.
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clinic : a place where a person goes to receive medical treatment -
coronavirus (n): any of a group of viruses that cause a variety of diseases in humans and other animals -
coughing : the action of forcing air up through your throat with a sudden noise, especially when you have a cold - ไอ
critical condition : very seriously ill or injured and might die - อาการหนัก
detection : the process of proving that something is present or how something has happened using scientific methods - การพบ,การสืบหา,การตรวจพบ
discharge : to allow someone officially to leave somewhere, especially a hospital or a court of law - ได้รับอนุญาตให้ออกจาก
droplet (noun): a small drop of a liquid - หยดเล็กๆ, ละออง, เป็นหยด
flu : a very common infectious disease that lasts a short time and makes you feel hot or cold, weak, and tired - ไข้หวัดใหญ่
influenza (noun): flu, an infectious disease like a very bad cold, that causes fever, pains and weakness - ไข้หวัดใหญ่
patient : someone who is receiving medical treatment - คนป่วย, คนไข้
sneeze : to loudly blow air out of your nose in a sudden uncontrolled way - จาม