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Chiang Mai fears Covid superspreader

A worker sprays disinfectant in Muang district of Chiang Mai after a woman staying in the northern city had coronavirus. (Photo from Nakhon Chiang Mai Municipality Facebook account)

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The provincial public health office in Chiang Mai on Sunday called for calm as officials were yet to detect any further infections among people who had been in close contact with an infected Thai woman feared to be a superspreader.

Songyos Khamchai, who is in charge of communicable diseases at the office, said the first tests on people in a high-risk group were negative, and all were put in a state quarantine facility for 14 days, where they would be tested again.

"The situation in Chiang Mai is not serious because only one patient was found to have been infected with the virus," the official said in a radio programme.

The Disease Control Department identified 105 people as being in a high-risk category due to their coming into close contact with the infected patient, a 29-year-old Thai woman who on Nov 23 sneaked across the border from the Burmese city of Tachilek to Mae Sai in Chiang Rai province on Nov 23.

She then caught a bus to Chiang Mai, where she went shopping at CentralFestival and drinking at a bar in Santitham – all while suffering from a fever.  

Another 149 people were considered at low risk, while 72 more were identified to have been in the general areas visited by the woman. A total of 326 people are thought to have potentially been exposed to Covid-19.

Grab Thailand said that for safety reasons, it has temporarily suspended several drivers who drove the woman between Tuesday and Friday.


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