Thailand logs 11 new Covid imports Sunday

Thailand logs 11 new Covid imports Sunday

A worker sprays disinfectant at an unknown location in Muang district of Chiang Mai after a woman staying in the northern city was contracted with coronavirus. (Photo from Nakhon Chiang Mai Municipality Facebook account)
A worker sprays disinfectant at an unknown location in Muang district of Chiang Mai after a woman staying in the northern city was contracted with coronavirus. (Photo from Nakhon Chiang Mai Municipality Facebook account)

The government recorded 11 new imported cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday for an accumulated total in Thailand of 3,977, with no new deaths, as no infections were found connected to a Thai woman who travelled around Chiang Mai while showing symptoms of Covid-19 after sneaking across the border from Myanmar.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said seven of the 11 new patients were Thais while four were foreign nationals.

The Thais -- all asymptomatic -- included a monk who flew back from the United States via Qatar on Nov 14.

Four Thai nationals returned to the kingdom on Nov 21: two male students from Libya via Qatar, a man from Mozambique via Ethiopia, and a woman from Italy via Qatar. 

The final two Thai patients were a man and a woman who returned from South Korea on Nov 24. 

The foreigners were a French man who flew in from France via the United Arab Emirates on Nov 21, a Pakistani man who arrived from Pakistan via Qatar on Nov 23, and two who flew in on Nov 26: a woman who flew in from her native Oman, and a Kuwaiti man who connected in Qatar after departing Kuwait.

Chiang Mai told to stay calm

Meanwhile, the provincial public health office in Chiang Mai on Sunday called for calm as officials were yet to detect any further infections among people who had been in close contact with an infected Thai woman feared to be a superspreader.

Songyos Khamchai, who is in charge of communicable diseases at the office, said the first tests on people in a high-risk group were negative, and all were put in a state quarantine facility for 14 days, where they would be tested again. 

"The situation in Chiang Mai is not serious because only one patient was found to have been infected with the virus," the official said in a radio programme from the public relations office in the northern province.

The Disease Control Department identified 105 people as being in a high-risk category due to their coming into close contact with the infected patient, a 29-year-old Thai woman who on Nov 23 sneaked across the border from the Burmese city of Tachilek to Mae Sai in Chiang Rai province on Nov 23.

She then caught a bus to Chiang Mai, where she went shopping at CentralFestival and drinking at a bar in Santitham – all while suffering from a fever.  

Another 149 people were considered at low risk, while 72 more were identified to have been in the general areas visited by the woman. A total of 326 people are thought to have potentially been exposed to Covid-19. 

Grab Thailand said that for safety reasons, it has temporarily suspended several drivers who transported the patient between Tuesday and Friday last week after the firm was contacted by the Disease Control Department.

The discovery of the Covid-19 case came as Chiang Mai province plans a series of activities in remembrance of the late King Bhumibol on his birthday on Dec 5. The country is also preparing for a long weekend from Dec 10-13 to promote tourism, which was crippled by the virus outbreak.

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