Thailand upgrades monkeypox alert to national level

Photo via Public Health Minister's Facebook page

Thai officials are on guard for monkeypox. The country has upgraded its monkeypox alert to the national level today. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul called an emergency meeting today after the World Health Organisation declared monkeypox a Global Health Emergency.

This news comes after a Nigerian man, who was the first person recorded with monkeypox in Thailand, escaped to Cambodia. The man had been diagnosed with the virus in Phuket, but when officials went to his condo to take him to a hospital, he had fled. The man is believed to have then swam across the Sa Kaeo River to Cambodia, where he was arrested yesterday.

Phuket health officials say they have tracked down people who came into close contact with the man. The Phuket Public Health Office said two of the 19 had recently tested negative for monkeypox, while test results for the others would be known in a few days.

Anutin said health chiefs at today’s meeting believed the man had not spread the virus, so Thailand is still safe. He said that disease control officials around the country are working with border checkpoints to screen travellers for monkeypox. Travellers from at-risk countries are being monitored tightly, he added.

The Medical Services Department says it has enough vaccines to protect Thailand from monkeypox. The vaccine is reported to have been in cold storage for 40 years, but the department said it was still viable. The department added that it also has sufficient medicine and facilities in case a monkeypox outbreak happens.

Anutin has said that Covid-19 prevention measures are also effective against monkeypox, which spreads more slowly than Covid-19 does.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Thailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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