Thais urged not to panic over Ebola outbreak in Africa


BANGKOK, July 31 — The Ministry of Public Health urged Thais not to panic over reports of the Ebola virus disease as its risk was low in Thailand.

In response to the reports that the US Peace Corps withdrew hundreds of its volunteers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to concerns about the epidemic of the disease in West Africa, the Thai Ministry of Public Health stated that the risk of an epidemic in Thailand was very small and Thais should not panic.

However, the Bureau of Epidemiology of the ministry is conducting surveillance regarding the disease and following advice from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hospitals have been put on standby and the Department of Medical Sciences is ready for laboratory tests for the disease.

Today the Ministry of Public Health conducted an exercise to treat air passengers with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

The ministry reported that there were 853 MERS-CoV patients in 21 countries and that 330 of them died.

The majority are Middle Eastern people and hajj pilgrims. No MERS-CoV patients have been found in Thailand.

The ministry is also watching out for its presence in Thailand and has prepared special health care for Thai Muslims who will make the hajj to Mecca in September.