Thailand to screen arrivals from China as tally of virus infections hits 14

Reuters

Posted at Jan 28 2020 03:56 PM

Members of the Thai Airways crew disinfect the cabin of an aircraft of the national carrier during a procedure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, Jan. 28, 2020. Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters

BANGKOK - Thailand announced plans on Tuesday to screen all arrivals from China for symptoms of a deadly virus and confirmed 6 more infections among such visitors, taking the southeast Asian nation's tally to 14, health officials said.

The new strain of coronavirus claimed its first victim in Beijing, the Chinese capital, taking the death toll to 106 as infections reached 4,515, although there have been no deaths outside China.

Five victims among Thailand's new cases, aged between 6 and 70, came from China's central province of Hubei, and belonged to the same family, health official Tanarak Plipat, told reporters, and the sixth from southwestern Chongqing province.

One passenger from among the family of 7 traveling together was taken to hospital after showing symptoms on arrival, added Tanarak, the deputy director-general of the department of disease control.

The other 4 of the family were quarantined after showing symptoms following monitoring, he added.

"Now we will expand screening to all Chinese from China and prepare equipment to screen 100 percent," said Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the permanent secretary of the public health ministry.

Thailand had earlier screened passengers only from China's central city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, its southern city of Guangzhou and northeastern Changchun across 5 airports, from Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok to those at Chiang Mai, Don Mueng, Phuket and Krabi.