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First medical officer diagnosed with COVID-19 in Thailand

Co-workers at private hospital still testing negative and not showing symptoms

A 35-year-old Thai member of a private hospital’s medical staff, who was in close contact with a patient diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus has been confirmed as being a carrier of the disease, bringing Thailand’s total number of confirmed infections to 34, the Ministry of Public Health said on Saturday (February 15). Her 24 co-workers were put under observation but none have tested positive for the virus or fallen sick.

Fourteen confirmed patients had recovered and been released and 20 remained under treatment, Department of Disease Control (DDC) director-general Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai said.

Two of those under treatment were in critical condition at Nonthaburi’s Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute, requiring the use of the “Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation” artificial lung and the use of convalescent plasma respectively but were now stable.

Between January 3 and February 14, there were 804 “patients under investigation” (PUI) in Thailand, 54 of whom were identified through airport screening.

Among the PUI, 685 had flu or other ailments and had now recovered and been released on condition they have medical follow-up.

As for the passengers from the Holland America Line cruise ship Westerdam, which found a berth in Cambodia on Thursday after being turned away by Thailand, nine – eight foreigners and one Thai – travelled to Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport but didn’t have fever. The eight foreigners were therefore allowed to continue their travel to other countries while the Thai was subject to the disease control officials’ follow-up procedure.

Globally as of 7am Saturday, there were 67,100 infections and 1,526 fatalities, with 66,492 infections and 1,523 deaths in all regions of China, the ministry reported.

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