A 75-year-old Omani man who became Thailand's only case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was declared free of the potentially deadly virus and given permission to travel again, officials said.
Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told a press conference that the Omani had no fever for the past 15 days and has not needed oxygen supplies for the past five days. His condition, they said, had returned to normal.
The patient's last five laboratory tests for Mers also proved negative. The latest test occurred on Wednesday.
The Omani man arrived in Thailand on June 15 for treatment of heart disease at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok. He was diagnosed with Mers on June 18 and has since been treated in an isolation ward at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province.
His three family members also were kept under observation in isolation, considered high-risk disease suspects.
They were among 176 people who came into contact with the patient. All already have ended 14 days of quarantine with none coming down with the disease.
Chariya Sangsajja, director of the Bamrasnaradura institute, said doctors allowed the Omani man and his family to leave the hospital Friday afternoon.
Dr Rajata also said that serious surveillance efforts are continuing around the country, as Thailand attracts many visitors from countries where Mers has been seen and because the country is a medical hub for foreign patients.
Dr Sophon Mekthon, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said that the cure of the Omani man and the fact no one in contact with him contracted the virus showed that Mers had not spread in the country.
Thailand has continually improved the readiness of its health facilities and workforce to cope with Mers since the first outbreak of the disease in the Middle East more than three years ago. All local hospitals were instructed to detect respiratory patients arriving from countries, prepare their isolation wards and effectively protect their staff from infection, he said.
From Jan 1 to July 2 this year, 140 people exhibiting signs of viral infection arrived in Thailand from countries hit by Mers -- 74 from South Korea and 66 from the Middle East. Samples from those people were tested and cleared.