500 at boxing match risk

500 at boxing match risk

‘Ghost’ building: A woman walks past the building that houses the finance permanent secretary’s office in Bangkok, which has been closed for disinfection after a policeman providing security for Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana tested positive for Covid-19. Mr Uttama subsequently tested negative for the virus. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
‘Ghost’ building: A woman walks past the building that houses the finance permanent secretary’s office in Bangkok, which has been closed for disinfection after a policeman providing security for Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana tested positive for Covid-19. Mr Uttama subsequently tested negative for the virus. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The spike in Covid-19 infections in Thailand can be put down to the inability to track down people who attended a boxing match at Bangkok's Lumpini Boxing Stadium, said Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Disease Control Department.

As many as 5,000 people were present at the March 6 boxing match, but so far, the department has only been able to locate 55 people. The ministry reckons at least 500 attendees may be be at risk.

"Most importantly, these people are not being strict about self-isolation, which means they are transmitting the disease to many others in their proximity," he said. "This has created a new group of high-risk people who need to be monitored for 14 more days. The virus will be transmitted to a large number of people due to their failure to follow advice."

He added that boxing stadiums and entertainment venues are still the main source of transmission.

Of the 50 new cases found yesterday, 41 had come in contact with previous patients while nine had either returned from other countries or worked with foreigners.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, said almost 80% of 322 of the infections were in Bangkok, with most patients being between 30 to 39 years of age. Of the patients 66% are men and 34% women, while at least 80% of the recent infections were contracted in boxing stadiums and entertainment venues.


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