Japanese and S'pore arrivals screened
Health authorities have extended coronavirus screening to cover visitors from Japan and Singapore while denying entry to passengers and crew of the MS Westerdam, now berthed in Cambodia.
"We have expanded our intensive screening to travellers from Japan and Singapore. The screening method will be the same one used on passengers from Wuhan," Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai, Public Health Ministry permanent secretary, told a news conference on Monday. Intensive screening was already in place for arrivals from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
He urged travellers from Japan and Singapore who develop a fever or respiratory problems within 14 days of entering the country to go to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute or other hospitals to be checked for novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
Public health authorities on Monday raised measures against Covid-19 to level 3, in preparation for a surge in transmissions. Level 3 means medical staff have to undergo screening for the virus. Within the next two months, every province will have at least one hospital capable of testing for Covid-19.
The Department of Medical Sciences is also developing a coronavirus test kit that will deliver a result in five minutes. The test kit should be available within two months.
Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Monday barred passengers and crew from the cruise ship MS Westerdam from entering Thailand. The decision came after an 83-year-old American female passenger tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Malaysia, despite Cambodian health officials clearing all onboard.
Mr Anutin said he had ordered all Thai airlines not to issue boarding passes to anyone who had been on the Westerdam for the next 14 days.
"And if any airline breaks this new regulation, it must take a responsibility for any damage incurred."
Thailand on Monday recorded one new coronavirus patient, taking the total number of cases to 35 since January. Fifteen have since recovered. The new case is a 60-year-old Chinese tourist from Wuhan, according to Dr Sukhum.