More Covid cases among returnees

More Covid cases among returnees

Taweesilp: Thailand will not remain free of new local infections

Students stage an anti-government demonstration in Thon Buri, Bangkok, on Thursday, as the country remained free of local Covid-19 infection but logged six new cases among returnees. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Students stage an anti-government demonstration in Thon Buri, Bangkok, on Thursday, as the country remained free of local Covid-19 infection but logged six new cases among returnees. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The government on Friday reported six new cases of coronavirus disease infection among returnees from Egypt and the Netherlands, lifting the total to 3,310.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, announced the latest figures on Friday.

He also warned that with burgeoning Covid-19 infection rates overseas, Thailand also could not expect to remain permanently free of new local community infection. Authorities could only hope to prolong the infection-free period as long as possible, and then cope effectively with any outbreak as it occurs. 

Dr Taweesilp said five of the new patients had returned from Egypt. Four were male students, two aged 21 years and two aged 24. 

The four arrived on July 24 and were quarantined in Chon Buri province. They tested positive on Wednesday while being asymptomatic. They were on the same flight with one previously confirmed case.

The other returnee from Egypt is a man aged 28. He arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on Thursday with a fever and breathing problem. He tested positive right away and was sent to a hospital in Chachoengsao province.

The returnee from the Netherlands is a 52-year-old male chef who worked on a ship. He arrived last Saturday and was quarantined in Samut Prakan. He tested positive on Wednesday but also showed no symptoms .

Infection rates were at 11% among returnees from Egypt and 1% from the Netherlands.

Of the 3,310 total cases, 3,125 had recovered including 14 over the previous 24 hours, and 127 others were in hospitals. The death toll was unchanged at 58 since June 2.

Dr Taweesilp also said that employers could start bringing in foreign workers once quarantine systems were ready at their premises and local people were prepared for it.

Global Covid-19 cases rose by 288,093 over the past 24 hours to 17.47 million. The worldwide death toll went up by 6,555 to 676,755. The United States had the most cases at 4.63 million, up by 66,948, and the most deaths at 155,285, up by 1,445.

"With the daily increment of over 250,000 cases, there will be 1 million new cases every 3-4 days. This global situation is cause for concern. We do not expect to permanently maintain zero local infection but hope we can prolong the period of no local infection as long as possible and effectively cope when it does occur," Dr Taweesilp said.

Thailand ranked 107th globally by the number of confirmed cases, down from 106th on Thursday, he said.


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