Credit: Public Health Ministry

Six more cases of Coronavirus in Thailand

Thais in Wuhan arrived safely and now are under care at the navy compound in Chonburi province

Thailand has seen six new confirmed case of Coronavirus, resulting in the total number of Coronavirus infection cases in the country rising up to 25.

Thailand first reported the case to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Jan 13, being the first country to have Coronavirus outside China.

The person was a traveler from Wuhan, China, and was identified by Thai public health officials on January 8, and hospitalised that day.

It was Saturday that a Thai taxi driver was identified as having infected with the virus, being the first local human-to-human transmission in the country.

This was shortly after WHO had declared the outbreak as a global public health emergency amid increasing cases of human-to-human transmission outside China.

What was feared by the WHO is the outbreak would spread in countries with weaker public health systems.

The four new cases reported by the Disease Control Department yesterday are Thais; two are local drivers with history of transporting Chinese tourists, and the other are a couple who have visited Japan. The rest are Chinese.

Disease Control Department chief Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said at the press conference that the first two cases were quite clear that they are further local human-to-human transmissions in the country. But the couple’s travel history needed further checks and it could not be confirmed at this point where they have actually contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, the medical staff now are studying further application of a cocktail of anitival drugs used in a severe case, which proved to be effective with a positive result within 48 hours.

The drugs, which were revealed on Sunday, are Oseltamkvir for flu treatment and Lopinavir and Ritonavir for HIV treatment.

Public Health Minister Autin Charnvirakul said the cocktail was not a new drug, but such the mix of the drug formula was based on the doctors’ medical treatment and prescription experience.

So, it should not be treated as a cure for all, but applied to case by case by doctors as it was still at a case report level and needed further studies.

The ministry has warned people not to take the durg cocktail by themselves.

In a related development, the Thai government flew a charter flight to bring over 140 Thais living in Wuhan province in China back as requested yesterday.

They were scheduled to have arrived in Thailand last night, with public health measures being prepared for them specially to ensure they are safe and free from the virus. The flight landed in Bangkok around 9 pm before 138 of them were taken to the navy compound for special care in Chonburi province.

Worldwide, WHO reported as of Feb 3 that the number of confirmed cases was at 17,391; 153 outside China in 23 countries with one dealth.

In China, the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus rose to 20,438 yesterday, including 425 deaths, China Daily reported.