CityNews – On 7th January 2020, the Public Health Department (Chiang Mai) announced that it is now closely monitoring cases of a viral pneumonia which has seen dozens recently affected in China.
China has reported many cases of patients suffering from this pneumonia and there are concerns that it may spread to Thailand. Though there have been no deaths, many patients remain in critical condition. The virus is of concern as there is no knowledge as to where it has come from and fear that it could become as deadly as SARS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
Symptoms include high fever, coughing, trouble breathing, and other flu-like symptoms. The outbreak in China has been mainly confined to the city of Wuhan and there are concerns that many tourists from that city may have travelled to Chiang Mai during the 14 day incubation period.
The Airport Organisation of Thailand (Chiang Mai) has prepared an ambulance on site to take any passengers suspected to suffer from this pneumonia to the hospital and the Nakornping hospital team said that they can be treating a patient within an hour of landing at the airport. A Health Beware Card is being distributed to passengers with information about the illness in Chinese, Thai and English. Saraphee Hospital has been set up as a quarantine centre, should the need arise. A hotline has been set up at Nakornping Hospital 053 999264 and at the Chiang Mai police station at 053 211048 ext. 110, and the public is asked to report any suspicions.
It is advised that all travel which is non essential to Wuhan be temporarily cancelled.
The public is advised to ensure they do not share such items as handkerchiefs, drinking glasses, towels or other such items. And if anyone, especially the young and the elderly, show symptoms, they are urged to contact the nearest hospital.