PHUKET: Health officials have started visiting Chinese tourists at local hotels to check their health as precautions intensify to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Deputy provincial governor Supote Rodruang na Nongkhai said that health officials were now taking proactive measures against the disease.
A total of 2,230 officials, local health personnel and health volunteers, started checking Chinese tourists' health at hotels on Friday evening.
"They will check 3,438 Chinese tourists who arrived in tour groups at 31 local hotels," he said. "This is to monitor their condition, provide adequate health care and generate confidence among the residents of Phuket."
Mr Supote said provincial authorities had opened a centre at the local Tourism and Sports Ministry office to help virus-affected tourists. An event was also held at the provincial hall to send a message of moral support to Chinese visitors.
Dr Chalermpong Sukhonthapol, director of the Phuket coronavirus response centre, said 29 patients had been placed under surveillance this month, and 19 of them were cleared and discharged from hospitals. All of them were Chinese nationals.
He said all passengers passing through Phuket airport on flights from and to mainland China were being screened for possible infection, but not those from Macau and Hong Kong.