Border checkpoints reinforced to prevent MERS outbreak

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UBON RATCHATHANI, 15 June 2015 – Public Health Minister Dr. Ratchata Ratchatanawin has instructed public health officials at the Thai-Laotian border to conduct rigorous health checks to prevent the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Thailand.

According to Dr. Ratchata, the health officials at Chong Mek border crossing in Ubon Ratchathani province are expected to be extremely thorough when asking anyone entering Thai territory from Laos whether they exhibit flu-like symptoms.

Both the Public Health Minister and his deputy Dr. Somsak Chunharas visited the regional health control unit at Chong Mek to observe checkpoint operations. The minister said thermal scanners have been implemented at various points of entry to detect infected passengers.

If anyone is found to have come down with similar symptoms, they would be taken to the hospital immediately. Medical staff will strictly adhere to safety protocol to prevent an outbreak within the hospital.

Dr. Ratchata said the health control unit at Chong Mek is fully equipped to conduct preliminary health screenings over the Thai-Laotian border.

Any individuals entering Thailand will be asked to disclose their travel history, particularly if they were previously in South Korea, by showing their passports. More than 1,000 Thais and tourists cross Chong Mek daily.