Thailand still faces risk of MERS: official

Updated: 2015-06-22 21:03


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BANGKOK - Thailand is still facing risks posed by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) while the country's first confirmed infectee is now in better condition, a health official said Monday.

The risk of the virus spreading in the kingdom remains due to the inflow of visitors from at-risk countries, including tourists who come to Thailand to seek medical treatment, deputy permanent secretary for public health Wachira Pengjan said.

The health authorities will closely monitor and quarantine MERS suspects categorized as "at high risk," while those deemed "at low risk" will only be placed under close monitoring, Wachira said.

Hospitals have been instructed not to accept medical tourists from overseas unless they pass MERS tests first, he added.

According to the official, Thailand's first and so far only confirmed MERS patient, a 75-year-old man from Oman, is recovering at an infectious diseases institute in central Nonthaburi province.

The patient is now able to eat and reportedly has no fever, Wachira said, adding his three relatives, who traveled to Thailand with him, tested negative for the virus.