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‘Linkage centre’ aims to detect virus concealment

Feb 27. 2020
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By The Nation

The Bangkok granddad who repeatedly denied having been to Japan and turned out to have picked up a Covid-19 infection there has triggered the establishment of a “surveillance data linkage centre” by the Immigration Bureau and Public Health Ministry.

Pol Maj General Surapong Chaijan, deputy commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, said on Thursday (February 27) that the centre would help prevent people from lying about having visited a high-risk locale.

It will offer hospitals nationwide a database to prevent such concealment.

“We will check the system to see how much data can be linked today and start using it officially tomorrow,” he said.

He said ministry and bureau officials had accompanied a medical team in examining 1,765 Chinese tourists from Wuhan and Guangzhou who don’t wish to return home yet and confirmed they were all clear of virus infection.

“At the same time, tourists from other Chinese cities have cleared the incubation period for the disease and no new victims have emerged,” Surapong said. 

“The reason they haven’t gone home yet is that they’re afraid of the contagion there.”

The ministry’s Suwich Thammapalo said the linkage centre’s data will also be useful in analysing the overall situation and preventing the contagion from reaching the third stage in Thailand – mass infection.

“Everyone will be monitored closely,” he said. “In the future, we will develop data linkage as a mobile application to allow citizens to access the information and check their symptoms by themselves,” he said. “All personal information will be kept confidential.”

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