Thursday, August 13, 2020

Concern over infected Egyptian soldier in Rayong among 3 new Covid-19 cases

Jul 14. 2020
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By The Nation

Thailand saw three new confirmed Covid-19 cases, including that of an Egyptian soldier, without any death over the past 24 hours, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), reported today (July 13) – the 49th day without any domestic case.

The latest cases are an asymptomatic 48-year-old male worker, who returned home from Kuwait, where he stayed at a campsite which was previously hit by at least 10 cases, and a 22-year-old woman, who came back from Bahrain.

What has especially caused concern is the third case – of an asymptomatic 43-year-old male Egyptian soldier, who travelled with a military crew to Thailand on July 8. He was found positive yesterday. He and his group travelled from Cairo to the United Arab Emirates (July 6), then to Pakistan (July 7) and Thailand (July 8).

He and the crew reportedly visited a Rayong shopping and community area. They left their hotel on July 9 and travelled to China on an unspecified military mission via U-Tapao Airport. They returned to Thailand the same day. On July 10, the crew of 31 got tested. However, they were allowed to go home on July 11 though their Covid-19 test results weren’t confirmed. The soldier was found to test positive on July 12. Health authorities were questioning the staff of the unnamed hotel in which the group stayed.

Related story : Army denies responsibility for Covid-positive Egyptian soldier

According to Nation TV, related state agencies in Rayong have held an urgent meeting to hurry in finding out where exactly the Egyptian soldier went during his stay in the province.

Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said he has instructed all related agencies to look into the matter.

Rayong governor Surasak Chareonsirichote said on Monday that the hotel rooms where the soldiers stayed as well as the top two floors of the hotel have been shut down, while the two hotel staff who served them meals have been quarantined.

Meanwhile, two local patients have fully recovered and returned home in the past 24 hours.

The child of an African diplomat who arrived in Thailand on Friday (July 10) has tested positive for Covid-19, according to CCSA spokesman Taweesin.

On July 7, the family tested negative for the virus at a hospital in Sudan.

On July 10, the family were screened for infection as they arrived in Thailand, and the girl was found to have contracted Covid-19. Her father then took her to a private hospital in Bangkok while the rest of the family remained in quarantine at a condominium in Bangkok.

On July 11 a second test confirmed the girl was infected with Covid-19, after which she was sent for treatment at a state hospital in Bangkok.

“The CCSA has discussed such cases and the need for some measures to be tightened,” Dr Taweesin said. “The government has allowed foreigners to enter but they need to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Officials have to further discuss the issue of relaxing this quarantine for short-stay visitors and other measures at every airport to meet public health standards. A medical team is investigating and checking the condominium to ensure the safety of Thais,” he added.

Related story: More groups of foreigners to be allowed entry from tomorrow

As of today, the total number of confirmed cases in the country stands at 3,220 (2,444 domestic cases and 283 found in state quarantine). Of these, 72 are undergoing treatment, 3,090 have recovered and been discharged, and 58 have died.

Globally, the total number of confirmed cases has passed 13 million, up by 193,000 in 24 hours, with 7.5 million having recovered and 571,000 people dying. Thailand ranks 100th in the world for most cases, while the US still has the highest number, followed by Brazil and India.

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