First 20 Mers-suspected people are free to go home, MOPH says


NONTHABURI, 29 June 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has permitted the first twenty people who came into contact with 75-year-old Mers-infected Omani man to go home after the end of 14-day quarantine and they are confirmed free of the deadly virus.

MOPH Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin announced the official permission in a press conference held at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi after he observed the twenty people who had been under the quarantine since June 15th. Fourteen of them were air passengers who sat close to the Omani man on his flight to Bangkok, two taxi drivers, and four medical personnel of Bumrungrad Hospital.

Surachet Satitniramai, the ministry’s acting permanent secretary, said the last Mers testing confirmed none of them were infected with the virus. This indicated Thailand’s success in effective control, surveillance and prevention of the disease. Because of quick detection of the suspected person and quick admission to hospital, Thailand is now a country with very low risk of the Mers outbreak.

Health condition of the Omani man being treated at Bamrasnaradura since June 18th has continuously improved. His heart rate is normal without oxygen support. He has no temperature and is able to sit up on his own. X-ray result of his lungs shows better condition. However, he still stays in the special isolation room. In this evening, specialists will reassess his condition. If everything is normal, he will be moved to a standard isolation room.

Three of his relatives who are also under the 14-day quarantine show no signs of Mers and their quarantine period will end on July 2nd.