New coronavirus cluster cases in Bangkok
Image adapted from: Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto, Getty Images
Thailand’s Public Health Ministry has reported 5 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, linked to people arriving from South Korea and Hong Kong.
These have been classified as “cluster infections”, says Dr. Sukhum Karnchanapimai, permanent secretary for health.
First cluster was group of party-goers
Thailand’s first cluster infection was reported on Thursday after 11 people were tested positive for the virus. All had attended a party together in Bangkok and had shared drinks. Some had also previously met up with travellers from Hong Kong.
Bangkok Post announced that 2 of the new cases from today are a man and woman in their late 30s, both of whom were part of a group of 15 people – this includes the 11 patients declared positive yesterday.
The other 3 patients have been linked to a 27-year-old Thai woman who was a returnee from South Korea, where she had gone to receive plastic surgery.
One of them includes her younger brother, who came down with symptoms on Saturday and is currently being treated at a private hospital.
The other 2 patients are friends of the woman, who was found to have visited an “entertainment venue” with 13 other friends.
Dr. Sukhum commented on the rise of these cluster cases, saying that the Public Health Ministry will be contacting operators of the premises the patients previously visited. He also mentioned that they would be searching others that had come into contact with them “to stop cluster-based transmissions.”
Thai actor also infected
Separately, Thai actor and singer Matthew Deane Chanthavanij posted a video on his Instagram today to confirm that he had been tested positive for the virus as well.
In his message, the 41-year-old actor urged others to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against the virus.
Image credit: @matthew.deane1
The actor also owns a Muay Thai boxing gym, and he assured his customers that it would be closed for disinfection and deep cleaning on Friday.
Cases rise to 75, no ‘Stage 3’ announced yet
As of 13th March 2020, Thailand has a total of 75 cases of infections. 35 have since recovered with 39 patients being treated in hospitals. 1 COVID-19 related death has been reported so far.
Despite the increase in cluster cases, the Public Health Ministry announced that the country “has yet to enter Stage 3 of the coronavirus outbreak“.
Stage 3 is defined as a rapidly spreading disease with high patient numbers in the community.
Dr. Sukhum stated that Thailand is taking the necessary precautionary measures to avoid “entering the next phase” of the outbreak.
More COVID-19 news in Thailand:
- S’porean Owner Of BKK Restaurant Infected With COVID-19, Thanks Customers & Hospital Staff In Heartwarming Post
- Environmentalist Investigates Chatuchak Market Selling “High Risk” Wild Animals Despite Coronavirus Pandemic
- Grab Temporarily Shuts Thai And S’pore Offices For Deep Cleaning After Staff Tested Positive For COVID-19
- Koh Phangan Calls Off Full Moon Party Until COVID-19 Situation Subsides
- Khao San Songkran Party In Bangkok Cancelled To Avoid Spread Of Coronavirus