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Travellers from Thailand positive for Covid-19 in new saliva test at Japan airport

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Over the past few weeks, 15 people who travelled to Japan from Thailand tested positive for Covid-19 in a new preliminary screening method, according to Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, or DDC. Laboratory testing was done to confirm the cases. Half of the cases came back negative in laboratory testing while 2 people tested positive in laboratory tests and 5 others are waiting for results.

DDC acting director general Opas Karnkawinpong says the infections were detected by collecting saliva samples in a method called CLEIA, or chemiluminescent immunoassay. Japan started using the method on August 1 as a preliminary screening test for those entering the country. Opas says the World Health Organisation does not recommend this method as the standard.

From August 1 to October 8, the saliva test came back positive for 15 people travelling from Thailand. The travellers were taken to hospitals and were tested using the RT-PCR which looks at genetic material for traces of the virus. 2 young Japanese girls, 2 years old and 9 months old, tested positive in both the saliva test and the laboratory test after arriving in Japan from Thailand. Their mother and brother tested negative in the saliva test.

8 people were negative in the laboratory testing. Thai health officials say 49 close contacts tested negative for Covid-19. 5 others are still waiting for laboratory test results. Thai health officials are investigating.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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