Coronavirus: Thailand confirms 19 cases including one local transmission


BANGKOK – Thailand today confirmed five new cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus with its first local case of human-to-human transmission, bringing the total number of positive cases to 19.

Permanent Health Secretary Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai said a local taxi driver who had no history of  recent travel to China was diagnosed with the virus.

“The lab test confirmed the taxi driver is positive for coronavirus. He has no record of travelling to epidemic-stricken areas. It is the first local transmission case in the kingdom.  

“However, his three family members tested negative. We will closely monitor them,” he said at a press conference here today, adding that the man’s condition was improving.

The taxi driver fell sick and showed symptoms after picking up a group of Chinese tourists who sought treatment in the city two days ago.

Meanwhile, Sukhum said the 19 confirmed cases include four Chinese tourists from Hubei province. Seven of the 19 have been discharged from hospital.

At present, there are 280 suspected cases reported in Thailand.

Sukhum said the identification of confirmed cases reflects that Thailand has conducted effective surveillance of the disease.