'Saliva spread' clip sparks skytrain panic

'Saliva spread' clip sparks skytrain panic

A viral video clip of a man spreading his saliva across an elevator console at the National Stadium BTS station in Bangkok yesterday sparked panic among passengers fearing Covid-19 transmission.

The incident was caught on a surveillance camera in the lift near the National Stadium and occurred at 5.30am before the rail system was flooded with passengers during the morning rush hours.

However, it is unknown whether the man seen in the lift at the skytrain station was infected with the novel coronavirus as he disappeared along Rama I Road.

"We sprayed disinfectant inside the lift and nearby areas immediately after the incident," skytrain operator, Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTS), said yesterday.

Security guards and BTS staff have been told to intensify security measures to prevent a recurrence.

Passengers are also being asked to help the company keep a lookout for such behaviour.

The BTS has been cleaning its stations and trains more frequently, following the rapid spread of Covid-19. The number of infected people across the country yesterday stood at 322.

All public touch points, including lift consoles and escalator handrails, were wiped down and cleaned every hour, the company said.

Yesterday's scare came just a day after a Chinese traveller on an inter-provincial bus to Saraburi caused panic among passengers when she spat on the bus.

The 33-year-old woman reportedly dropped her chewing gum on the floor and "spat into a tissue and dropped it" before changing seats.

Officials were called to speak to her after arriving at Saraburi bus terminal, but she walked away before turning up later at Hua Lamphong railway station in the capital, where she was taken by police to Siriraj Hospital for a Covid-19 test on Thursday night.

At the hospital, the woman reportedly became uncooperative and highly agitated, which forced a doctor to sedate her.

The hospital finally managed to test her for Covid-19 which came up negative, Siriraj Hospital's director Dr Wisit Wamwanit told reporters yesterday.

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