The Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) responded publicly by stating that the health screening system for prevention and control of possible new strains of the coronary virus is in place and proving effective.
“There were three individuals who landed on direct flights from Wuhan into Phuket who showed signs of possible infection and who were admitted to hospital for tests,” commented PPHO Chief Thanit Sermkaew.
“Two arrived on a flight on Tuesday (Jan 21) and another arrived on Wednesday (Jan 22). I do not have any specific information to disclose at this point in regards to personal information such as name or gender of any of the three suspects,” he added.
“Health officers using thermal scanners at the airport identified that the individuals in question had an elevated body temperature and had them taken immediately to Vachira Hospital, Thalang Hospital and Patong Hospital to be kept under observation in an isolated area,” confirmed Chief Thanit.
He did not elaborate on why they were taken to separate hospitals but stated the responsibility to test, monitor and look after the suspects was being shared. Blood tests would be taken and sent to the Health Control Division in Bangkok for analysis.
Chief Thanit did confirm that the same process is being employed as in the case of the 10-year-old Chinese boy who was confined to isolation at Vachira Phuket Hospital last Wednesday (Jan 22). He was cleared as negative and re-joined his parents the following day (see story here).
When questioned in regards to next steps and measures at the airport, Chief Thanit stated “I am attending a meeting at 3pm today (Jan 25) to discuss this and determine plans. I will share more information with the public after this.”
Wuhan flights cancelled
Phuket International Airport General Manager Thanee Chuangchoo did confirm earlier today to The Phuket News that all flights from Wuhan to Phuket between Jan 23-28 have been cancelled.
This follows a ruling by authorities in Wuhan who grounded all outbound flights in addition to land travel via train and buses.
However, Mr Thanee did confirm that the PPHO and health control division officials are still checking all international terminal arrivals to scan for the virus.
When asked if direct flights from Wuhan will resume on Jan 29 he replied: “I cannot confirm that until we receive notice and instruction from the government.”
Chief Thanit highlighted several precautionary measures to safeguard citizens’ health such as washing hands thoroughly with water and soap or alcohol, wearing masks, avoiding crowded or polluted places and not being in contact with patients with respiratory diseases or anyone exhibiting coughing or sneezing symptoms.
He also recommended not sharing personal items with others, not to visit markets that sell dead or living wildlife, avoiding crowded or polluted places and to always eat cooked food.
If anyone has recently visited Wuhan in particular and demonstrates symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or wheezing within 14 days of their return, Chief Thanit recommended seeing a doctor immediately as well as providing a full history of any travel to China.
Additional reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot