Thai media reported last Friday (31 Jan) that the first case of human-to-human transmission of the Wuhan virus has occurred in Thailand. The patient is a Thai taxi driver.
Thai Deputy Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, Dr Tanarak Pipat, told the media, “The Thai person who was infected does not have a record of travelling to China and it is likely that he was infected by a sick traveller from China.”
Previous cases in Thailand have all been either Chinese tourists or Thais who had visited China, where the virus originated.
It was revealed that the taxi driver had picked up Chinese tourists and fallen ill thereafter. The tourists had arrived in Thailand before the Chinese government started to lock down their cities.
S’pore Govt says risk of infection from transient contact low
Meanwhile, the Singaporean authorities have said there is no need to avoid places where people suspected or confirmed to have the Wuhan coronavirus have been.
A government advisory on Saturday (1 Feb), denounced a WhatsApp message that has been circulating with a list of places allegedly visited by mainland Chinese suspected or confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus.
“This is false. There is no need to avoid places where persons with suspected or confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have been,” the government notice said.
“The risk of infection from transient contact, such as in public places, is low. There is also currently no evidence of community spread.”
The National Environment Agency (NEA) also issued an advisory saying that there is no need for members of the public to avoid places like hotels, food and beverage outlets and hawker centres.
“We advise members of the public to not speculate and/or spread unfounded rumours,” it added.