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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Health officials tracing 24 contacts of new Covid case

Maya Taylor



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Health officials say their decision to trace 24 people who’ve had contact with a woman who tested positive for Covid-19 is merely a precaution, insisting there’s no cause for alarm. The 35 year old woman, from the north-eastern province of Loei, returned from the United Arab Emirates on June 24 and entered state quarantine. While there, she was twice tested for the virus, returning a negative result each time. She finished her quarantine on July 9, at which point she returned to Loei.

Back home, it’s understood she had close contact with 5 friends and family members. She then visited a friend who had given birth at Pak Chom hospital, where she had contact with a further 6 people. She says she also met friends at a restaurant but does not remember its name or the precise date, saying it was around August 12 or 13.

A report in Khaosod English says when the woman needed to go back to work in Dubai, she had to obtain a fit-to-fly certificate. For this, she travelled to Bangkok last Sunday with her parents and 2 friends. She stayed at the Buddy Hotel in the Din Daeng district of the capital and on Tuesday this week, attended Ramathibodi Hospital to be tested for Covid-19, when the result came back positive. Subsequent tests on Wednesday and yesterday also returned a positive result.

While in Bangkok, the woman had close contact with 2 maids working at the hotel, where 104 other guests were staying at the time. While attending her hospital appointment, she had contact with a taxi driver and 5 hospital workers.

It’s understood the woman is asymptomatic but has been admitted to Ramathibodi Hospital for observation. The spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Taweesin Visanuyothin, insists there is no cause for alarm.

“Everything is proceeding normally. There is no risk concerning locations. We can’t even really call her a patient, as she’s not ill.”

Meanwhile, all of the women’s family and friends are being tested for Covid-19 and Chiangklom Wittaya school in Loei, which both her sons attend, has undergone a deep cleaning. Officials are tracing the Bangkok taxi driver she had contact with and have also invited the 2 hotel workers to be tested. However, Walairat Chaiyafu from the Department of Disease Control says the 104 hotel guests are not at risk, as the woman did not have any contact with them.

“We do not count these 104 people to be at risk since they did not have close contact. But if they are concerned, they can come in for a test.”

Surasak Leelaudomlipi from Ramathibodi Hospital believes the woman tested positive as a result of residual traces of the virus in her system, adding that it’s unlikely she can transmit it to anyone else.

“She has no symptoms. But to be completely cautious, we are keeping her here at the hospital as a precaution. We want society to feel at ease that we are checking even the remnants of viruses. We are quite confident these remnants will not cause transmission.”

Another doctor at the hospital echoes this sentiment, adding that it’s highly unlikely the woman contracted the virus in Thailand.

“She had been infected possibly three months ago, not in Bangkok since she was here for such a short window of time. We are confident that the likelihood of her transmitting the infection is very low.”

SOURCE: Khaosod English


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