Four Chinese airline passengers from China’s Hubei province, and one Thai citizen – a taxi driver – have now been confirmed as infected with the novel coronavirus. The announcement came from the Permanent Health Secretary Sukhum Karnchanapimai says in a briefing in Bangkok. The latest announcement brought the current toll of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Kingdom to 19.
Of note, the taxi driver is the first instance of a local human-to-human viral transmission. The driver had never travelled to China, let alone since mid-December when the Wuhan coronavirus was first identified. Since his diagnosis, Thai health officials have traced 13 people who had been in close contact with the taxi driver, but none have tested positive for the virus at this stage – the update from the deputy head of the disease control department, Tanarak Plipat.
“He does not have the record of travelling to China, and it is likely that he was infected by a sick traveller from China.”
Up to this announcement, all Thailand’s previous cases have been either Chinese tourists or Thai citizens who had visited China. The virus originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in Central China during the middle of December last year.
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