• Today, 17 February 2020, the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand announced a new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 novel coronavirus case, the 35th confirmed case in the country so far.
• The case reported today is a 60-year-old woman from China who is part of a family cluster whose other confirmed cases were reported earlier.
• The Ministry of Public Health also reports that 145 persons are currently under investigation.
• The Ministry has added to its definition of a Person Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 infection, by including anybody who presents with fever and symptoms and with travel history to Japan and Singapore (in addition to mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taipei and environs) within 14 days prior to the onset of illness.
• Health authorities reiterate that the Government continues to plan for the possibility that human-to-human transmission may escalate in the weeks and months ahead, bringing an increase in the number of cases from more areas of the country.
• To that end, consultations are being held by the Government, bringing together central and local health authorities and private institutions, to ensure contingency planning is strengthened and all key stakeholders are coordinated.
• Authorities are registering commercial test kits for COVID-19, to ensure that at least one key hospital per province across Thailand initially has the kits necessary to carry out testing of suspected cases.
• WHO reiterates that health screening and surveillance systems in Thailand – at points of entry into the country as well as nationwide - are robust and capable of tracking suspected cases quickly, allowing health authorities to implement protocols to ensure isolation, contact tracing, testing and treatment of symptoms.
• 138 Thai nationals remain under a 14-day quarantine at Navy guesthouses after having been brought back to their country from Wuhan, China on 4 February. This quarantine period expires this week. A man among this group who tested positive for COVID-19 after displaying flu-like symptoms on 7 February is said to be doing well.