Chiang Rai man contracts Covid-19

Chiang Rai man contracts Covid-19

Health authorities confirmed yesterday that the Covid-19 situation -- in relation to the 10 Thai returnees from Myanmar's border town of Tachilek -- was under control. The confirmation was made despite the fact a man in Chiang Rai was later found to have contracted the virus from the returnees.

Dr Kiatiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for health, said at the Public Health Ministry office in Nonthaburi province that health officials tracked the 10 women who returned from Myanmar and found 699 people who had been in contact with them. They have been placed in secure locations, he said. "A spread of the disease should be out of the question now," he said, adding the 10 patients are now in hospitals and have mild symptoms of Covid-19.

One hundred seventy-five people considered at high risk of contracting the disease had tested negative and are currently undergoing 14 days of quarantine. The remaining 524 are considered at low-risk and were also isolated. The negative test results of the people considered to be at high risk brought relief, Dr Kiatiphum said, adding if they remain free of Covid-19 by the end of their quarantine period, health officials can conclude there was no spread of the disease.

Dr Kiatiphum made the remarks before the Chiang Rai man was discovered. Dr Thotsathep Bunthong, chief health officer in Chiang Rai, confirmed around 4.30pm yesterday that the man, 28, had contracted the virus from three of the women, after spending time together from Nov 28 to Dec 1. The man was tested on Dec 2 after learning that his travel mates were infected with the disease, the doctor said, adding the patient was being treated in hospital. He was a close friend of one of the 10 infected women, Dr Thotsathep said.

Three other Thai nationals who returned to Chiang Rai legally were confirmed to be infected by Covid-19 and are now under quarantine, he said. Meanwhile, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, acting director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said that 150 Thais in Tachilek has asked for permission to legally return to Thailand.

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