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Thai epidemiologist warns public to stay home to avoid virus surge

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Bangkok Post

As the number of Covid-19 coronavirus infections rises around Thailand, an epidemiologist from the Ministry of Public Health is urging the public to stay home, avoid all social interaction unless absolutely essential and practise social distancing whenever you need to go outdoors to avoid an outbreak like those in Italy and Spain.

Ministry epidemiologist Walairat Chaifoo says that the total number of infections could remain in the hundreds if 80% of the population continue to comply with social distancing procedures. On the other hand, she warned, Thailand’s cases could explode into the thousands if the measures are ignored.

Health officials announced this morning that three more people died from complications associated with the virus, bringing the total death toll in the country to four. Ministry spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin confirmed that lab results also confirmed 106 new cases, a slight fall from yesterday’s 188. Four people remain in critical condition.

The new fatalities include a 70 year old patient who suffered from tuberculosis, a 45 year old patient with diabetes, and a 70 year old patient with a combination of unspecified health issues. He is known to have attended a boxing match at Lumphini Boxing Stadium prior to testing positive. Taweesin added that four physicians who work closely with coronavirus patients have now tested positive.

5 of the new 106 cases are linked to the boxing match at Lumphini Stadium earlier this month, while 6 patients are related to social gathering at bars in Bangkok’s Thonglor, RCA, and Nana neighborhoods. Today’s new cases bring the total confirmed tally to 827 since the outbreak began.

12 new patients shared close contact with individuals previously diagnosed the infection,and 2 were found to have the virus after returning from a religious ceremony in Malaysia. Another group of 32 patients, including 12 foreign nationals, were either infected overseas or working in a crowded environment. Four of them are medical personnel working in Yala, Buriram, and Nakhon Pathom provinces. The travel histories of the remaining 47 patients are being investigated.

There are currently 766 patients being treated for coronavirus at hospitals, while 57 have recovered as of Tuesday.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

Thai epidemiologist warns public to stay home to avoid virus surge | News by Thaiger

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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