It’s becomingly overwhelmingly clear that the coronavirus is spreading – less and less silently – in Thailand, with three more overseas travelers testing positive for Covid-19 after touching down in foreign airports.
Thailand on Friday not only confirmed its second locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in eight days – an Uzbek footballer for Buriram United – but had to explain how two Thais and a Japanese tested positive in Japan after leaving Bangkok.
There now have been five Bangkok-Tokyo travelers who initially tested positive on arrival – the earlier two being a Japanese man and Thai national – but the August test of the 47-year-old Japanese man was found to be a false positive.
Since then a South Korean man leaving Thailand tested positive in Seoul and a Malaysian man who departed Bangkok for Kuala Lumpur also was found to have the virus at home.
Like the Japanese traveler last month, the a 64-year-old Japanese man, 21-year-old Thai student and 44-year-old Thai man underwent quick saliva tests, not the more accurate RT PCR tests. They are now being retested.
Meanwhile, Thai health officials are tracing the three men’s whereabouts over the past two weeks in Thailand.
Disease Control Department Director-General Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai said Friday the Japanese man on Aug. 17 stayed at a hotel in the Sukhumvit area and then left for Japan on Aug 20. He had been in close contact with 76 people in the Bangkok area, 22 of which were considered at high risk. Fifty of the contacts so far have been tested and found not to have the virus.
The 21-year-old student lived in Khlong Sam Wa District of Bangkok and had tested negative at Ramathibodi Hospital on Aug. 27 before departing two days later. He was found to have no high-risk contacts.
The 44-year-old Thai man lived in Suwannaphum District of Roi Et Province and had been on Bang Na-Trat Road and in Roi Et and tested negative on Aug. 28 before leaving for Japan. Four people in Roi Et were found to be at high risk.