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COVID-19: Quarantine flouter among 5 new cases in Thailand

Bangkok – A Thai woman who returned from Myanmar and skipped compulsory quarantine, was among five tested positive for COVID-19 in Thailand, bringing the country’s tally to 3,966 cases.

Disease Control Department director, Dr Sophon Iamsirithawon said the 29-year-old woman with COVID-19 symptoms including fever and diarrhea, traveled from Myanmar to Mae Sai, Chiang Rai via land border, and later boarded a public bus to Chiang Mai on Tuesday.

He said apart from visiting a shopping mall, a cinema, a restaurant and an entertainment outlet, the woman also used public transport and Grab car services in Chiang Mai, before she sought treatment at a private hospital on Thursday after losing her sense of smell.

He said the woman tested positive for COVID-19 on the same day, was admitted to Nakhon Ping Hospital in Chiang Mai.

“The health authorities have stepped up contact tracing,” he told a press conference here today.

Chiang Mai’s Public Health Office said at least 326 individuals had possibly been in contact with the new patient, including 105 individuals who have been identified as high-risk.

Meanwhile, four other new COVID-19 cases involved two who had arrived from India and a Thai national returning from the Philippines and another returning from Sweden.

To date, Thailand has recorded 3,966 COVID-19 cases with 60 fatalities.

Meanwhile, Thailand has signed an agreement with British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca Plc to secure 26 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine for immunisation of 13 million people.

Acting director-general of the Disease Control Department Dr Opas Kankawinphong, director of the National Vaccine Institute, Nakorn Premsri and AstraZeneca Thailand president James Teak signed the agreement yesterday in the presence of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha.

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford showed its experimental vaccine to have 70 to 90 per cent efficacy.

Last month, Thailand’s Public Health Ministry, leading local pharmaceutical firm, Siam Bioscience Co Ltd (Siam Bioscience), Siam Cement Group (SCG) Public Co. Ltd and AstraZeneca signed a Letter of Intent on manufacturing and supply of the potential COVID-19 vaccine. – Bernama

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