66 suspected of MERS in Thailand

Bangkok, June 20 (IANS) The Thai government is keeping track of 66 people suspected of having contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) after coming into contact with a 75-year-old man from Oman confirmed as the country’s first confirmed case.

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said there are three groups of “high-risk” people, The Bangkok Post reported on Saturday.

The first group comprises the three relatives of the patient, consisting of his son, younger brother and nephew. The second group are the 16 passengers who sat in the same row or two rows in front or behind the infected man on the flight. The last group are 47 hospital staff who treated the patient after he was admitted.

Meanwhile, at least 75 people who came into contact with the patient have been adjudged to be at “low risk” due to the short length of time they spent together with the infected man, the minister said.

Officials will monitor their health for two weeks for any symptoms.

The infected man is currently in a stable condition, health officials said.

Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assured that authorities have taken precautions to prevent the spread of MERS and are well prepared to contain the virus.

He said, stringent measures were put in place when Mers first emerged in South Korea on May 20, which so far has killed 24 people and infected 166 others

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