Thailand’s first MERS case declared free of deadly virus

admin   •   June 29, 2015   •   2586

People wearing masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) ride on an escalator at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, June 19, 2015. REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM

FILE PHOTO: People wearing masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) ride on an escalator at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, June 19, 2015.
REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM

An Omani man who became Thailand’s first case of Middle East Respiratory Sydnrome (MERS) has been declared free of the deadly virus, Thailand’s health ministry said on Monday.

The 75-year-old man, who had traveled to Bangkok for treatment for a heart condition and was then diagnosed with the virus, will remain in quarantine for the time being.

“In the last test results we did not find the MERS virus in the patient,” Surachet Satitramai, acting permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, told Reuters.

“His condition is much better but we still need to see if his other health conditions, including his heart condition, will have any effect on his recovery.”

He said three of the man’s relatives who traveled with him to Thailand were also free of the virus. Thailand’s health ministry is still monitoring 36 people who were exposed to its single patient.

Thailand confirmed its first case of MERS earlier this month, becoming the fourth Asian country to register the virus this year.

In South Korea, which is battling the largest MERS outbreak outside Saudi Arabia, 31 people have died from the virus. South Korea’s public health ministry reported one new case on Friday, taking the total to 181.

Health authorities have said the virus may have leveled off but were more guarded in their assessment last week.

Thailand’s status as a hub for medical tourism could be helping it contain the spread of MERS, government and health officials said last week.

First identified in humans in 2012, MERS is caused by a corona virus from the same family as the one that triggered the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

There is no cure or vaccine.

(Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat and Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Paul Tait)

More than 3,000 people flee to Thailand after Myanmar’s army air strikes villages

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2021

More than 3,000 people in Myanmar have crossed to Thailand to take refuge after the Burma Army launched air strikes on Myanmar’s southeastern Karen state.

According to Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), the military launched night-time airstrikes on Day Bu No Village, Lu Thaw Township, Mu Traw District on March 27, killing three civilians and injuring seven others.

The KWO, an indigenous women’s organization, has condemned the said attacks and expressed fear as more attacks will soon be launched on other villages.

“Many villagers are now hiding in terror in the jungle, and more than 3,000 have crossed to Thailand to take refuge,” the KWO said.

The organization also calls for call for a UN Security Council resolution to prevent further mass atrocities.

“Burma’s security forces must be held accountable for their crimes. Diplomats and governments must stop giving legitimacy to this murderous regime. It’s clear the Burma Army leaders are not capable of change nor are they open to any dialogue to stop the violence,” the organization said.

Schools across Thailand reopen after coronavirus cases slow down

UNTV News   •   July 1, 2020

Schools across Thailand re-opened on Wednesday (July 1) with coronavirus prevention measures in place, following months of closure.

Nearly 5,000 students returned to Sam Khok school, about 50 km north of Bangkok, wearing face masks and receiving face shields and temperature checks from the school.

“Once students arrive at school, teachers hand face masks to them because it’s mandatory to wear them. We (school) are also providing face shields for students’ project presentations or for eating,” said principal Chuchart Thiengtham.

He added that students were told to stay in home quarantine for 15 days before school re-started as an extra precaution.

The school has also turned old ballot boxes into classroom partitions to enforce social distancing between students.

“I feel safe, but annoyed at the same time because partition blocked my view,” said 17-year-old student, Soponwich Thianthong.

Thailand on Wednesday marked 37 days without a case of local transmission. The coronavirus has killed 58 people among its 3,173 infections.

The country has extended an emergency decree until the end of July in a bid to avoid the risk of a second wave of the coronavirus, although it is also set to ease more restrictions on Wednesday, including reopening bars and allowing some foreigners into the country. (Reuters)

(Production: Vorasit Satienlerk, Jiraporn Kuhakan)

No more touching: Thai mall installs foot pedals in elevators

UNTV News   •   May 21, 2020

No more touching in the elevators as a Thai shopping mall in Bangkok installed foot pedals for customers to step on instead of pressing the buttons, lowering the risk of having to be exposed to germs.

“Now everyone is worried about getting infected with the COVID-19 and the easiest way to get infected is that when you touch an object that has been contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, and then eventually touch your face and the virus will go into your mouth, your eyes or whatever. So, we came up with this idea of hand-free foot-operated elevator,” said Prote Sosothikul, the vice president of Seacon Development PLC which oversees the mall.

The foot-operated elevator pedal system is also welcomed by mall customers, saying they felt safer to use the lift without actually touching the buttons, reducing the risk of getting infected.

“I think they did a good job in preparing this. I feel much safer… Now that we can use our foot to press the elevator, it’s really great,” said 26-year-old Watcharaporn.

Thailand on Sunday (May 17) reopened malls and department stores for the first time since March in its second phase of relaxing measures as the number of new cases slowed.

Thailand has reported a total of 3,034 cases of the coronavirus and 56 deaths. (Reuters)

(Production: Artorn Pookasook, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

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