Thailand reported three new cases of a coronavirus and health officials are criticizing a patient for not disclosing his travel history. Thailand’s Health Minister has asked the Thai public to avoid traveling to affected countries.
He has also called on airlines to refrain from luring travelers with promotions.
Two of the new patients, all of whom were Thai nationals, had returned from vacation in Japan. They infected the third patient, their 8-year old grandson, said Health minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
The grandfather had not disclosed his travel history when he first sought medical attention. He risked becoming a super-spreader, an incident of large transmission from a single source, Anutin said.
“We have to criticize this case … it creates a lot of trouble for us,” Anutin said. The patient went to the hospital on Feb. 23, but did not disclose his travel history.
The patient came into contact with 30 medical personnel at the hospital. All of whom later tested negative for the virus.
Bangkok school closed for 14 days over coronavirus
They are all at home in self-quarantine according to the hospital. Passengers, cabin crew and students in the boy’s school were all being tested, officials said.
The boy’s school has been closed for 14 days and will be cleaned, a statement from the Bangkok school district said.
A Thanachart-TMB bank also announced it would close a branch for disinfection after an employee’s relative was reported to have the virus, Reuters reported.
The branch’s workers have tested negative for the virus, but were asked to stay home for 14 days, it said.
Public Health Ministry officials will be prohibited from traveling to risky countries. If travel is required, personnel are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, Sukhum said.
At-risk countries include China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, Iran,Japan and Thailand.
“For the airlines, please reduce promotions,” Anutin said. “Even though tickets are cheap, it could also be your last holiday.”
Thai health classifies virus as dangerous disease
The Health Minister also said that Covid-19 coronavirus has been classified as a dangerous communicable disease.
Under the change, anybody with suspect symptoms after visiting a high-risk country must report to the authorities within three hours. Furthermore visitors who lie about symptoms or travel history could be deported or charged.
Anutin said Thailand isn’t at the stage yet of banning incoming flights from affected countries, but added that “we’re going to fight with all the tools that we have.”
He said that Thailand is at risk of a widespread outbreak, adding the situation “isn’t good. We are entering a full war with Covid-19 coronavirus.”
Returning travellers must report where they went to disease control officers stationed at airports. Adding people shouldn’t conceal symptoms as that could cause the virus to spread.