A 53-year-old woman with a high fever spat on health department officials who tried to offer her a face mask on a local train. The incidence immediately sparked Covid-19 coronavirus fears and panic amongst the passengers.
The woman, whose name was withheld, boarded a local train on the Kaeng Khoi-Khon Kaen route on Friday morning. She was also not wearing a face mask which also created fear among train passengers.
Thaworn Khamchunphon, chief of the Non Sung railway station, was alerted at 8.50am on Friday.
He summoned three staff from Non Sung Hospital, in full personal protective suits. They entered the carriage where the woman was sitting. One handed her a face mask and told her to go to a Covid screening checkpoint at the railway station. However she refused and shouted at them and then spat at the health workers.
Woman Spits at Health Workers on Train
This prompted the hospital staff to handcuff her and carry her out of the carriage for a body temperature checks. Her temperature was measured at 37.9C and she was taken to Non Sung Hospital for further checkups in case she had Covid-19.
The railway station chief subsequently called a rescue team to spray disinfectant at the station and in all train carriages. It took about one hour before the train was able to resume its journey.
The hospital later informed railway officials that the woman had a history of mental illness and had sought treatment in the past at Nakhon Ratchasima Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital.
She was placed in quarantine for 14 days as part of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. If she is found to be not infected, she will be handed over to relatives.
The health department reported 103 new local cases of Covid-19 coronavirus cases raising the total to 1,978, and four new deaths. The total death toll for Thailand increased to 19.