Lopburi screening monkeys amid concern over monkeypox
Authorities in Lopburi are screening their local populations of monkeys amid concern over the global spread of monkeypox.
Local agencies conducted medical check-ups on monkeys living around Phra Kan Shrine and Phra Prang Sam Yot on Thursday. Officials also caught and sterilised monkeys during the check-ups.
The move was aimed to boost confidence among tourists and residents following reports of monkeypox cases in more than 20 countries overseas.
Thailand has launched an emergency operations centre to monitor the global spread of monkeypox and has tightened disease screening at Suvarnabhumi Airport and other entry points. As of Friday, no cases of monkeypox had been reported in Thailand.
Lopburi province is famed for its large population of monkeys, which are a tourism attraction but also overlap with human habitation.
More than 10,000 monkeys live near Phra Kan Shrine and Phra Prang Sam Yot, with numbers increasing each year despite sterilisation efforts.
Local authorities are now concerned that fears over monkeypox could prevent tourists from returning to the province now that Covid-19 travel restrictions have been lifted.
As of Friday, monkeypox cases had been reported in the US, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.