Dept denies claims virus came from Thailand

Dept denies claims virus came from Thailand

Customers visit pet shops at Chatuchak market in Bangkok last month. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Customers visit pet shops at Chatuchak market in Bangkok last month. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation on Wednesday dismissed news reports suggesting Thailand was the source of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The department said it had tested various types of wildlife and found the claims were untrue.

The department was responding to Denmark's daily newspaper Politiken that published an article on Monday questioning whether Chatuchak Market was "the place that brought the coronavirus to Wuhan".

The article quoted a Danish epidemiologist who was on a recent WHO fact-finding mission to China, as saying that Southeast Asia could be the source of the virus.

The department from time to time randomly tests all types of animals sold at Chatuchak Market, both imported and local, and had not found any animals infected with Covid-19 as claimed.

The last time the department conducted tests on animals at Chatuchak was on March 19 last year and no signs of the new coronavirus were found.

A Russian news agency reported there are bats in Thailand with a new coronavirus that matches the one that causes Covid-19.

The new virus was found in the blood of five bats in eastern Thailand, the report said.

The government insisted the coronavirus found in the bats doesn't cause any illnesses in humans despite its similarity to Covid-19.

Vocabulary

  • bat (noun): an animal like a mouse with wings, that flies and feeds at night - ค้างคาว
  • blood (noun): the red liquid that flows through the bodies of humans and animals - เลือด
  • claim (noun): saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
  • Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (noun): an agency of the Thailand's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment responsible for the overall care of the country's forests and the plants and wildlife within - กรมอุทยานแห่งชาติ สัตว์ป่า และพันธุ์พืช
  • despite (prep): used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
  • epidemiologist: a scientist who studies the spread and control of diseases - นักระบาดวิทยา
  • mission: an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do - ภาระกิจ หน้าที่
  • randomly: chosen without any particular pattern — - สุ่ม
  • source: the place something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something - แหล่ง, แหล่งกำเนิด
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