Thailand upgrades virus screening as two Chinese visitors found to be infected

Published:  22 Jan at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Expats living, working and retiring in Asian states and especially Thailand are growing ever more concerned about the spread of the so-called coronavirus.

Recent news that the first person-to-person transmission of the recently-identified virus had taken place saw airports all over Asia queuing up to instigate mandatory health screening for all arrivals from China’s high-risk region. The outbreak seems to be gaining ground as cases have been discovered in Thailand, South Korea and Japan, and the World Health Organisation will meet to discuss the introduction of a global public health emergency.

In China’s Hubei province and its capital Wuhan, 440 cases and nine deaths have been reported to date, with medical professionals warning over viral mutation leading to faster and further spread of the SARs-like disease. In Thailand, Bangkok, Krabi, Phuket and Chiang Mai airports are now using mandatory thermal scans on all passengers arriving from high-risk locations. Some 25 per cent of all flights from Wuhan arrive in Thailand, and passengers found to have high temperatures will be quarantined and monitored for at least 24 hours.

The outbreak couldn’t have occurred at a worse time for the popular Chinese tourism destination as the Chinese New Year festivities kick off this weekend. Out of the 1300 Chinese arrivals expected every day before and during the festival, to date at least two passengers from Wuhan were found to be infected. Although no victims have yet been identified in Taiwan, the country is now on high alert including airport screening and is advising visitors and expats to avoid markets where poultry is sold. Vietnam is stepping up its border checks due to the increase risk of infection, and the first suspected case in Australia has been confined to his home.

Hong Kong leaders have placed the island on extreme high alert in the hope that a repetition of the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak which caused the death of hundreds can be avoided. According to reports from the UAE, those initially infected are believed to have caught the virus whilst shopping in a meat and seafood market in Wuhan, and studies are now showing the new virus’s genetic code is more closely related to the original SARS virus than are other corona viruses affecting humans.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive