Infectious Diseases Institute director to pick up stranded Thais


BANGKOK — The director of Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute will lead a team of medical personnel who will pick up Thai people stranded in Wuhan city of China, Deputy Prime Minister/Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said.

Visiting novel coronavirus patients at Rajvithi Hospital, Mr Anutin said they were recovering and doctors at the hospital made a good decision to apply antiviral drugs to successfully treat a 70-year-old Chinese woman who was seriously ill with the new virus.

Regarding the evacuation, Mr Anutin said Dr Apichart Vachiraphan, director of Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, would tomorrow lead the eight-member medical delegation to pick up 160 Thai people stranded in Wuhan. The team includes emergency and epidemic doctors and psychiatrists. The evacuees would undergo 14-day quarantine after their return, he said.

Dr Somsak Akhasilp, director-general of the Department of Medical Services, said doctors at Rajvithi Hospital used oseltamivir and ritonavir and prescribed the medical cocktail to three patients. Two of them were recovering and the rest developed allergies, so the prescription was stopped for the particular patient. The dose had not been a standard treatment and concerned doctors had to monitor the patients closely, Dr Somsak said.

In response to the criticism that Thai doctors did not invent a medicine to treat the novel coronavirus, Dr Somsak said that Chinese and Thai doctors coincidentally tried such medication combination simultaneously but they came up with different formula.

Two pills of anti-HIV drugs, ritonavir and lopinavir, together with two pills of oseltamivir were given twice a day. Anti-HIV pills contained the disease and cold medicine suppressed the disease that penetrated into cells, Dr Somsak said. The prescription began at Rajvithi Hospital on Jan 29.