The Ministry of Public Health is urgently seeking the source of a COVID-19 infection detected at a prison, while also searching for signs of any further spread of the virus.
The Director of the Division of Communicable Diseases, Dr. Sopon Iamsirithaworn, said that the Thai male found to be infected with COVID-19 upon being checked into prison began exhibiting symptoms on August 29, including a mucus build up, before he was sent to the Corrections Hospital.
The division has pinpointed three locations at risk of further infection, going back 14 days before the man’s illness was uncovered. Authorities have contacted people who visited the locations using their Thai Chana data, saying they are confident most people who have come into contact with the individual have been located. Some 200 people have so far been tested with no positive result as yet.
Six members of the man’s family were tested with five found to have traces of the virus. A total of 156 people who came into contact with the individual during his visit to the Criminal Court are to be observed for a total of 14 days despite testing negative to infection.
A public health official in Nonthaburi province, Dr. Sariddet Charoenchai, has reported findings of an inspection undertaken at “Three Days Two Nights”, an entertainment venue where the infected person had worked as a disc jockey (DJ). It was found that the man had been at the venue on two days between the times of 10 pm and 1am, spending his entire time in an isolated area. While the venue has been closed for several days, it was found that 20 people came into contact with the individual, three of whom were customers. So far, 16 of the total have been contacted for testing.
The Director-General of the Department of Medical Sciences, Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, said the Director-General of the Department of Mental Health, Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, who was tasked with heading the Ministry of Public Health’s investigation team, has ordered a DNA assessment of the patient’s infection to decipher its strain.
Dr. Kiattiphum indicated that the patient has been isolated at the hospital and is showing few symptoms apart from mucus. He is under close supervision as are all others who came into contact with him. He acknowledged public concerns over the case, which is the first domestic infection in over 100 days, and explained that the infection may have come from a person from abroad or an asymptomatic individual in the country. (NNT)