A taxi driver in Bangkok became the first human-to-human transfer of the coronavirus as Thailand becomes the second-highest country to be hit with the disease outside of China.
The taxi driver who was believed to be infected by a sick traveler from China had no record of traveling to the disease hit country.
As things stand, Thailand has now a total of 19 Wuhan Coronavirus of which seven have recovered and gone home, while 12 others are still being treated at hospitals.
Taking to Twitter, Channel News Asia reporter @MayWongCNA tweeted about the condition of the taxi driver.
#Thailand #health officials say the #Thai taxi driver stopped driving when he felt ill. Said the cabbie likely caught the #coronavirus from a passenger but the passenger may have likely left the country. Also trying to trace people the cabbie has been in contact with #ไวรัสโคโรนา pic.twitter.com/uvLzo1ZEIX
— May Wong (@MayWongCNA) January 31, 2020
In her tweet, she writes, “The Thai taxi driver stopped working when he fell ill. It was likely that the cabbie caught the coronavirus from a passenger who is no longer in the country.”
In an interview with Channel News Asia, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, Tanarak Pipat said that authorities are now scanning 13 other people, three of which are family members the taxi driver came into contact with.
“The overall risk of infection in Thailand is still low, but people should take precautions to protect themselves.”
Noting that Thailand’s previous cases have been Chinese tourists and Thais who visited China, the case of the taxi driver was indeed the first human-to-human transfer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is closely looking into person-to-person transmission outside of Wuhan – citing that the virus may have the potential to spread further.
Having declared the outbreak as an international emergency after the virus sickened almost 10,000 people in China, several countries including Thailand have begun initiating precautionary measures to curb the spread.
China is Thailand’s biggest source of visitors at about 11 million visits in the last year and the spread of the coronavirus has had a devastating effect on Thailand’s tourism industry.
Let’s hope that the measures put in place are able to somewhat lessen the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
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