Man's death leads to search for new cases

Man's death leads to search for new cases

Authorities are trying to trace people who came in contact with the latest Covid-19 fatality, a 57-year-old man who had returned from Pakistan and died travelling on a southbound train on Monday night.

At least 11 State Railway of Thailand (SRT) staff, six Immigration Bureau (IB) officials and 13 Thai students who were returning on the same flight from Pakistan are among the first group of people to have been in close contact with the man, named as Anan Soho, and may have contracted the virus from him.

The man died on the train about 10pm on Monday, said IB chief Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, adding the six IB police have been identified as those who had potentially been in contact with Anan as they were involved in handling his immigration clearance documents upon his arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Anan returned to Thailand from Islamabad, Pakistan, on Flight TG350 at 5.50am on Sunday along with 279 other passengers, who were mostly Thai students returning home, said Pol Maj Gen Suraphong Chaichan, deputy chief of the IB in his capacity as the IB's spokesman.

At least 13 of the students arriving on the same flight were found to have body temperatures exceeding 37.5C and were transferred to a hospital serving as a Covid-19 quarantine zone, said Pol Maj Gen Suraphong. Anan had travelled to Pakistan alone and passed a Covid-19 screening test at the immigration check counter upon return, said the spokesman.

Kittiphong Kittikahchon, Suvarnabhumi deputy director of airport operations, said the passenger had been walking with a limp and requested a wheelchair and spent a long time at the baggage claim area due to long queues.

An airport worker pushing the wheelchair for him and the taxi driver who took him from the airport after baggage claim were located and have been tested for Covid-19, said Mr Kittiphong, adding their test results were expected in eight to 10 hours.

Thakun Intharachom, SRT director for train service operations, said a male passenger who happened to be at Bang Sue central station at the same time as Anan man on Sunday morning was caught on a security camera as the infected man appeared to cough on him. After the security footage was aired by the media, the man in the video contacted the SRT to say Anan did not cough on him. However, he now must quarantine himself in case of possible infection.

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