Thai Government Admits "Unable To Stop" Spread Of Coronavirus

Daily Mail
  • Health minister Anutin Charnvirakul said there are too many Chinese visitors
  • At least 22,000 people from Wuhan are believed to have visited in January
  • Thailand, with 14 cases, is so far the worst affected country outside of China 

Thai health minister Anutin Charnvirakul told Sky News: 'We are not able to stop the spread... Of course we expect more people to get sick'

Thai health minister Anutin Charnvirakul told Sky News: 'We are not able to stop the spread... Of course we expect more people to get sick'

Thailand is 'not able to stop the spread' of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus which has been imported from China, according to a health minister in the country.

With 14 confirmed cases of the disease, Thailand is the worst-affected nation outside of China.

And it became the first one to confirm overseas cases on January 13, before Japan followed suit on January 16.

But health minister Anutin Charnvirakul has reportedly admitted the country cannot stop the virus from spreading because there are so many Chinese travellers there.

Almost 4,600 people have caught the Wuhan coronavirus around the world so far, and 106 have died in China. 

'We are not able to stop the spread,' Mr Charnvirakul told Sky News.

'Our target is we will be able to detect all carriers entering Thailand and we will apply necessary measures as the situation develops.

'Of course we expect more people to get sick but we are able to identify all of them.' 

The Wuhan coronavirus has now been infecting people in China and abroad for four weeks since it was first noticed on December 31. 

It has been difficult to contain because it appears to spread by coughing, sneezing and close personal contact, and may even pass on before someone has symptoms.

Many people only become mildly ill and might not notice anything is wrong with them, making them more likely to pass the infection on.  

And there have also been what are called 'super-spreading' events in which one person can infect multiple others before they recover, speeding up transmission. 

Fears of the coronavirus's spread around the world have grown exponentially over the past week as the number of patients infected has soared from just 308 on January 21 to more than 4,500 on January 28.

Countries all over the world are taking extraordinary steps to stop the coronavirus reaching their shores.

Hong Kong today said it would stop trains and ferries, Russia and Mongolia have closed land borders with China and airport screening is in place globally.

Thailand is screening all passengers from China at its airports and has planes on standby to retrieve an estimated 64 people who are stranded in the locked-down Hubei region.

Thailand is a top destination for Chinese tourists and there have been 22,000 visitors from Wuhan alone during January, Sky reported.

And it is travellers who have bumped up the country's virus count.

All but one of the confirmed coronavirus patients there have been Chinese nationals visiting from the Wuhan area.

In fact, five of them were members of a single family from Hubei aged between six and 70. A sixth declared recently came from the neighbouring Chongqing province. 

But tourism this year is expected to take a hit because of the outbreak, with forecast visitor numbers down from 11million in 2019 to 9million this year.   

Daily Mail

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