Population mapping Experts have concluded that Bangkok and Hong Kong are most at-risk for the spread of coronavirus. Their conclusions are based on air travellers expected to arrive from affected cities in China.
Population mapping experts at the University of Southampton concluded Bangkok and Hong Kong are most at-risk due to high volumes of passengers from Mainland China, Bloomberg reports.
The conclusions come after global efforts to contain the virus have escalated. Above all after the Philippines reported the first death outside of China and the US confirmed more infections. Airlines in Asia, Europe and the Middle East stopped service to the mainland. While the US began limiting the entry of air travellers from China.
Hong Kong to close more checkpoints
Hong Kong announced it will close more checkpoints, including two major land ports on the border with the mainland. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at briefing, yesterday. Only three out of the 13 checkpoints will stay open, including; Shenzhen Bay port; Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge port and Hong Kong airport.
Striking Hong Kong health workers have demanded that all entry points be shut.
Passenger volume by train, road, ship and air during the 10-day Lunar New Year holiday totaled 190 million. Airborne passenger volume decreased by 57%.
Thailand sees results from drug cocktail
A cocktail of antiviral drugs appeared effective in treating a seriously ill coronavirus patient, a Thai health official said.
The HIV medicines lopinavir and ritonavir, have been used on three patients in conjunction with the anti-flu medication oseltamivir.
Separately, China has also kick-started a clinical trial to test the cocktail as the nation rushes for therapies for those afflicted. Remdesivir, a new antiviral aimed at infectious diseases such Ebola and SARS, will also be tested by a medical teams.
Thailand has also seen its first case of human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus. A taxi driver transporting Chinese tourists has come down with the new coronavirus. He is one of the five new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Thailand.
The tourists had arrived in Thailand before the Chinese government suspended outbound trips by its citizens.
With 19 confirmed cases, Thailand has the most cases in Southeast Asia. However even as the threat of human-to-human transmission grows, the country’s health officials have counseled against undue concern.
Thailand downplays coronavirus threat
One of the confirmed cases in Thailand involved a Chinese man in the northern city of Chiang Mai. The Chinese man initially tested negative for the virus after being admitted to a hospital. Therefore transferred out of an isolation unit to a general ward, said Rungrueng Kitphati, a spokesman for the country’s health ministry.
“The chances of him spreading the disease is very low,” said Mr. Rungrueng. Noting that the space between beds in the general ward was more than a yard. “Our medical staff always wash their hands in and out. It will not be communicable to others.”
Meanwhile, arrivals from China into Thailand could drop by 80 percent in the first four months of this year. Anutin Charnvirakul, the public health minister, has recommended temporarily revoking the visa-on-arrival program for mainland Chinese travelers.
But more than 180,000 Chinese tourists who had entered Thailand over the past two months still remain in the country.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha called on Mr. Anutin to check in with tourism officials before submitting a formal proposal to the cabinet, a process that could take days.