Travel history to be told

3 min read

The Public Health Ministry is warning people against withholding information to public health officials and suggesting state agencies and companies issue an advisory and/or a temporary ban on visits to Covid-19 affected countries, as it steps up efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

The move comes after three members of a family who travelled to Hokkaido, Japan tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 40. It also followed a decision by national committee on communicable diseases early this week to label Covid-19 as a “dangerous, communicable disease”.

Following Covid-19’s status upgrade, officials now have the authority under the Communicable Disease Act to take necessary precautions to halt the transmission of the virus. Anyone with symptoms after visiting a high-risk country are required to report to authorities, and those who fail to comply with orders face fines and/or imprisonment.

Mr Anutin made the comments after a 65-year-old man, his wife and their eight-year-old grandson tested positive following a trip to Japan, bringing the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 40. “Just because of this case alone, about a hundred people will have to be tested,” he said. The man developed a fever and sought medical attention at a private hospital on Feb 23 — four days after returning from holiday.

The patient did not disclose his travel history until the next day, when he tested positive for the virus. His 62-year-old wife also tested positive, along with their eight-year-old grandson, who had been in close contact with the couple since their return. About 30 medical personnel at the hospital came in contact with the patient, although they all tested negative for the virus and are in self-quarantine at home.

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