BANGKOK: Thailand announced plans on Tuesday to screen all arrivals from China for symptoms of a deadly virus and confirmed six more infections among such visitors, taking the southeast Asian nation’s tally to 14, health officials said.
The new strain of coronavirus claimed its first victim in Beijing, the Chinese capital, taking the death toll to 106 as infections reached 4,515, although there have been no deaths outside China.
Five victims among Thailand’s new cases, aged between 6 and 70, came from China’s central province of Hubei, and belonged to the same family, health official Tanarak Plipat, told reporters, and the sixth from southwestern Chongqing province.
One passenger from among the family of seven traveling together was taken to hospital after showing symptoms on arrival, added Tanarak, the deputy director-general of the department of disease control.
The other four of the family were quarantined after showing symptoms following monitoring, he added.
“Now we will expand screening to all Chinese from China and prepare equipment to screen 100%,” said Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the permanent secretary of the public health ministry.
Thailand had earlier screened passengers only from China’s central city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, its southern city of Guangzhou and northeastern Changchun across five airports, from Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok to those at Chiang Mai, Don Mueng, Phuket and Krabi.
Meanwhile, a German man who tested positive for the strain of coronavirus was infected by a work colleague, officials said on Tuesday, in what is believed to be the first human transmission in Europe.
The man had not visited China but a Chinese work colleague who was in Germany last week had “started to feel sick on the flight home on January 23,” said Andreas Zapf, head of the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety.
He had attended a training session given by his Chinese colleague on January 21 at the office of a car parts supplier Webasto in Stockdorf in Bavaria and tested positive for the virus on Monday evening.
Unlike the other patients, the 33-year-old had not recently traveled to China.
He remains in hospital in an isolation ward, but Zapf said he “was doing well.”
Some details on cases confirmed as of late Tuesday morning Beijing time:
- China: 4,515 cases on the mainland, with 1,771 of those newly confirmed in the 24 hours through midnight Monday. In addition, Hong Kong has eight cases and Macao has five. Nearly all of the 106 deaths have been in central Hubei province, but the new total includes the first death in Beijing.
- United States: 5, 2 in southern California and 1 each in Washington state, Chicago, and Arizona.
- Thailand: 14
- Australia: 5
- Singapore: 7
- South Korea: 4
- Japan: 6
- Malaysia: 4
- France: 3
- Taiwan: 3
- Vietnam: 2
- Canada: 2
- Germany: 1
- Nepal: 1
- Cambodia: 1
- Sri Lanka: 1
* with AP