Virus transmission reaches local

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The Public Health Ministry yesterday confirmed Thailand’s first case of person-to-person transmission of the novel coronavirus, as the government starting preparing to repatriate 161 Thai nationals from China next week. Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai, permanent secretary for the Public Health Ministry, said the virus was contracted by a local taxi driver who had never traveled to China. He was one of the five new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of people infected by the virus in Thailand to 19. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Air Asia has offered to send a plane to pick up 161 Thais living in Wuhan and nearby areas as soon as China gives it the go-ahead.

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