/* */

Thailand tests nearly 600 people exposed to domestic coronavirus case

10 Sep 2020

Thailand said on Wednesday that in over three months it had tested nearly 600 people potentially exposed to the country's first domestic coronavirus, but no new infections have been identified so far.


The 37-year-old man had worked in the two weeks as a nightclub DJ at three separate venues in the capital Bangkok, before testing positively upon arrival in prison, following his recent conviction of a drug-related offence. Individuals considered at risk across 12 venues, including the court where he appeared, were tracked down nightclubs and supermarkets, and 569 tests were administered, the Ministry of Public Health said.

All tests have returned negative so far and 32 individuals are waiting for results. Authorities have asked for 14 days of self-quarantine for 400 other persons considered low-risk.


How the man became infected remains unknown, with all the recent cases in Thailand, usually fewer than a handful of each day, found among people returning from abroad in state quarantine.


In total, Thailand reported 3,447 confirmed infections, 58 fatalities and relaxed internal restrictions. The toll is among the lowest in the country, with Indonesia and the Philippines being the highest with over 200,000 cases each.


Natural border crossings and checkpoints have been tightened with neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Laos to deter illegal entry, Permanent Secretary Chatchai Promlert of the Thai Interior Ministry said.


Myanmar sealed up its capital city in just a few weeks last week after seeing cases more than double in.


The re-emergence of the virus in Thailand was another blow to its economy, delaying a proposal from October 1 to begin allowing the return of international visitors, initially at Phuket's island resort, with mandatory quarantine and movement limits.


In the second quarter of more than two decades, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy suffered its biggest shrinkage as the coronavirus outbreak froze tourism and delayed consumption.