Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, the spokesperson for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) stated this afternoon that a prisoner in a Thai prison has tested positive for Covid-19, however a second test is pending.
The prisoner in question tested positive for a small amount of genetic material of the virus, which means he had likely picked it up from elsewhere. He is a new inmate who arrived on August 26. He reportedly had a small amount of phlegm on August 29th but no other symptoms.
A more detailed blood test is being processed on the patient to determine if he actually has/had the virus and a press conference was given by the Ministry of Public Health this evening with more details which can be found in the Update area below.
The 34 other prisoners in the quarantine area of the prison have tested negative, while the suspect has been isolated for treatment according to Visanuyothin. The prison in question is the Central Special Correctional Institute (Klong Prem). However, the patient was in quarantine and not exposed to the general population.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to this page for more details.
The Ministry of Public Health has revealed more details on the prisoner, who is still undergoing more tests. The National Thai News Bureau has announced this as the first domestic case in over a hundred days, however secondary blood testing is being done. At this time, however, it is believed to be the first locally spread case in over 100 days according to the Ministry of Public Health.
– The patient, a 37 year old man, was living in Ban Suan Thanon condominium in the Bang Mod district with five family members. The condo has been informed and three family members have been placed into quarantine. Two family members went to another province in Thailand up-country (province not named) and Ministry of Public Health officials are now working on locating them. All five family members are considered high risk.
– Working at a club/bar for three days and two nights as a DJ at First Cafe on Khaosan Road and was also working in 2 other branches at the 3 Days 2 Nights pub on Rama 3 and Rama 5 branches. He also may have spent time on Khao San Road. Clubgoers are not considered high risk, according to the Ministry of Public Health. The bars in question have been closed for three days for “cleaning”.
– Twenty people who spent time with the prisoner at court and during the processes, including lawyers, prison officers, other prisoners and staff have been identified as high risk and all will be placed into quarantine and tested.
– The prison is isolated and the prisoner was only in quarantine and not general population, with 34 inmates all tested for Covid-19 so far. No infection was found and they will remain in isolation and quarantine. Two volunteers and two prison officers have also been tested negative and are isolated at this time. The man had a total of 60 high risk contacts at this time, according to the Ministry of Public Health and all are being tested, isolated and quarantined.
-At this time the patient appears to be the first person locally infected or having been infected previously found in over 100 days. Only a small amount of genetic material of the virus was found in his system and further blood tests will take place.
-The person infected is a drug addict and was sentenced to two years in Thai jail. He has since been moved to a quarantine hospital ward.
-Dr. Suwanchai Wattana Yingcharoenchai Director-General of the Department of Disease Control has stressed that this was to be eventually expected and has asked for calm and for people not to panic. He encouraged people to continue with their plans for the long holiday weekend ahead but to wear masks, wash their hands and socially distance and immediately report to a doctor if they are sick. He also said the Thai Government and medical establishment is well prepared for this but does not believe this case signals a widespread second outbreak.
This is a developing story and details are still coming in. This article may be updated at any time with no notice.