Thailand reports first COVID-19 casualty


Bangkok (TNA) – Department of Disease Control Director-General Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoen announced on Sunday that a 35-year-old salesman who was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier, then cleared of the disease on Feb. 16 after being admitted at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute (BIDI) and treated with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), died on Feb. 29 at 18.25 hrs.

Suwanchai said the ill-fated Thai man’s multiple-organ failure was the cause of death, which came after he had exposure to Chinese tourists. He was reported to be the first case of local transmission.

Suwanchai said the salesman received medical treatment for nearly a month but his internal organs continued to deteriorate even though the virus subsided with aid of ‘Favipiravir,’ an experimental anti-viral drug.

“His lungs and heart were over-working and his tissues were badly destroyed, and thus came to a halt on Saturday evening,” Suwanchai said.

Further investigation would be carried out by the Public Health Department medical team.

Suwanchai added authorities must keep a close watch on Chinese tourists and those from other watch-list countries, and local medical institutes must report cases to the Public Health Ministry within 3 hours.