First local virus patient 'cured'

First local virus patient 'cured'

No infections detected in Wuhan evacuees

The first locally infected patient, a taxi driver (blue shirt), has been declared free of the coronavirus and discharged. He was present at a press conference at the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi province on Wednesday. (Photo by Apinya Wipatayotin)
The first locally infected patient, a taxi driver (blue shirt), has been declared free of the coronavirus and discharged. He was present at a press conference at the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi province on Wednesday. (Photo by Apinya Wipatayotin)

The first person to test positive for locally transmitted coronavirus, a taxi driver, has been declared completely cleansed of the disease and discharged from hospital.

Four Thai evacuees from Wuhan who had a fever have also been tested and found negative for the disease.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Wednesday the first person to be infected in Thailand had been treated, cleared and discharged by Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute.

All relatives and people who had been in contact with him were also free of the virus, he said.

The man was among nine virus patients who had now been cured and discharged. The number of patients remaining in local hospitals had dropped to 16, Mr Anutin said.

"The remaining patients are recovering and are likely to be declared cured in the near future. Those who developed serious symptoms also suffer from other diseases and are old," the minister said.

Health officials said the first locally infected and now cured patient was a taxi driver, 50, who had carried Chinese passengers. He was praised for ceasing to drive his taxi when he felt ill and going to see a doctor right away.

The man tested positive for the virus at Taksin Hospital in Bangkok, and was transferred to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute on Jan 28.

The cab driver was present at Mr Anutin's press conference at the ministry in Nonthaburi.

He was in tears as he expressed his gratitude to health personnel for bringing him back to health and always being so supportive.

He encouraged all taxi drivers to take good care of their health, wear face masks and always welcome tourists.

"I never have a bad feeling about tourists or Chinese people. They are fellow humans. Tourists provide me with a living so I can support my family," he said.

At Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri province, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said that of 138 Thais evacuated from Wuhan city in China on Tuesday, six had a high fever.

On Wednesday morning the number with high temperatures dropped to four, and they were treated at Queen Sirikit Hospital in Sattahip district, Chon Buri.

Of the four, three were initially diagnosed with lung disorders, and the other had diarrhoea, Mr Sathit said.

Initial examinations did not detect the coronavirus in any of the evacuees. Their 14-day quarantine period will end at midnight of Feb 18, he said.


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