KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — A Chinese traveller landing in Bangkok was infected with the novel virus behind the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China, Thailand said today.
This marks the first time a person outside China was infected with the new coronavirus from the same family of respiratory viruses as SARS and MERS, Bloomberg reported.
Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health said the patient has since recovered and was well enough to be repatriated after getting hospitalised last January 8 at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute.
“I’d like to ask the public not to be alarmed,” Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand’s deputy prime minister and health minister, was quoted saying in a statement.
“The detection of the patient shows that we have an efficient system of surveillance. We’re confident that we can control the situation.”
STATNews reported Wuhan health authorities as saying last Saturday that 41 cases of pneumonia tied to the novel viral infection have been identified, instead of the previous 59 reported.
Among the cases, a 61-year-old man died. Two patients have reportedly been discharged from hospital, seven people still have severe conditions, while the rest are in stable condition.
Wuhan authorities also reportedly said no new infections were reported since January 3.
The Wuhan outbreak was linked to a fresh seafood market, which also sells exotic meat, that has since been closed since January 1. Coronaviruses, which come from bats but can also infect various animals, can jump from animals to humans.