Thailand reports second case infected with novel coronavirus

Thailand has found the second infection of the new coronavirus first found in Wuhan, China, according to local authorities.

Thai health officials have stepped up monitoring at airports (Photo: Bangkok Post)
Thai health officials have stepped up monitoring at airports (Photo: Bangkok Post)

The latest patient is from China’s central city of Wuhan. The 74-year-old woman, who ran a high fever and had fast heartbeat, was quarantined immediately after arriving in Thailand on January 13.

Thai Health Permanent Secretary Sukhum Karnchanapimai said there is no outbreak in Thailand and no need to worry.

The new coronavirus was first discovered in late December 2019 in Wuhan city. As of January 12, the Chinese city reported 41 cases of pneumonia potentially linked to the new type of virus, with one death.

The first patient diagnosed with the virus in Thailand was a 61-year-old Chinese tourist from Wuhan city, who showed signs of virus infection upon her arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok on January 8 and was hospitalised immediately.

Thai health officials have stepped up monitoring at four airports receiving daily flights from Wuhan, namely Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueng, Chiang Mai and Phuket, and others that receive charter flights from the Chinese city.

Since January 3, more than 13,600 passengers had been screened on arrival, officials said.

Health officials also asked Thai AirAsia and China Southern Airlines, which run direct daily flights from Wuhan, to stop those suffering from high fever and respiratory symptoms from boarding planes, and reschedule their flights.

In humans, coronaviruses cause illnesses in winter and early spring, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).