Thailand expands virus detection
Pneumonia cases being reviewed in eight high-tourism provinces
published : 21 Feb 2020 at 19:52
writer: Apinya Wipatayotin
The Public Health Ministry is expanding its search for people possibly infected with the coronavirus, resulting in a growing number of patients under investigation (PuI), while the number of local Covid-19 cases remains unchanged at 35.
Surveillance is being “proactively” expanded to people developing pneumonia with unknown causes in eight provinces that are popular among Chinese tourists, said Dr Tanarak Plipat, deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department.
They are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Krabi, Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Samut Prakan.
The surveillance also covers people arriving from Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan in addition to China.
“We are working in a more proactive manner to find patients as soon as possible,” Dr Tanarak said on Friday.
The expanded approach resulted in the number of PuI rising by 99 on Thursday alone to 1,151 since early last month.
The local number of Covid-19 patients remains unchanged at 35 including 10 Thais. Two more Chinese men have fully recovered and 16 patients remain in hospital.
Dr Tanarak also urged people in general to help contain the disease by staying home when they develop influenza.
“Whether the outbreak can be controlled or not depends on cooperation from all Thai people,” he said. “If you have flu, you must stay home. It is the best way to help the country survive the crisis.”