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Pattaya Daily News

14 June 2009 :: 07:06:35 am 36658

Flu Cases in Thailand Rise To 106; Phuket Nightlife Venues Closes in Virus Response

BANGKOK, June 13 -- The number of confirmed cases of Influenza A (H1N1) virus victims in Thailand on Saturday rose by 17, bringing the total victims to 106, as experts admit that it is now difficult to control the virus from spreading in the country.
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Dr. Paichit Varachit, Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Health, told journalists that all 17 new virus victims were pupils at a kindergarten in Bangkok?s neighbouring province of Pathum Thani.

He said that public health officials will visit the kindergarten later in the day.

Dr. Phitaya Charupoonphol, Dean of the Faculty of Public Health at Mahidol University said that six students from the third year and fourth year developed flu-like symptoms and were sent to Siriraj Hospital to for tests.

The Mahidol dean said two were confirmed as having contracted the Influenza A(H1N1) virus while the other four were put under close observation.

The six students had no connection with any group of students which had earlier contracted the virus, he said.

The virus now spreading in Thailand is at the ?B? level, meaning that it is spreading among groups of people and it may enter the ?C? level when people throughout the country contract the disease, Dr. Paichit said, indicating that the ministry is well prepared for controlling the disease.

Dr. Tawee Chotpitayasunondh, chairman of the strategic planning committee to combat the influenza, admitted that it is impossible to contain it from spreading because it could be transmitted through breathing, but that the symptoms are not serious.

“In future, Influenza A could ?become a seasonal influenza,? he said, adding that the Public Health Ministry has coordinated with the government?s Ramathibodi and Siriraj hospitals to be on alert and those which are not in specially-at risk groups such as the aged, children and pregnant women may be asked to stay home to rest. Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai said medical experts would attend a meeting next Tuesday when a new direction will be set: Medication would be given to only patients needed because most victims could recover without treatment within three or four days. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said every effort must be made to stop the disease from spreading. Changing strategy is not easy as it is difficult to check the symptom from those who have just returned home from overseas, he indicated, so people must cooperate in giving information, said Mr. Abhisit. (TNA)


Bangkok school fumigations; Phuket nightlife venues closes in virus response

BANGKOK, June 13 – Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) officials on Saturday began cleaning and fumigating all 435 schools under the agency’s administration in the Thai capital, while entertainment venues in Thailand’s Andaman Sea resort province of Phuket have been asked to close for five days after an employee was found to have contracted the Influenza A(H1N1) virus, officials said.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the two-day school cleaning campaign, ending Sunday, is aimed at preventing the spread of the flu to students under City Hall’s supervision.

 The BMA campaign follows the H1N1 diagnosis Friday of a student of St. Gabriel’s College, a private school operated by the Roman Catholic Brothers of St. Gabriel in Bangkok’s Samsen district. A private tutoring school the school the student attended on the weekend will also be closed for a week to curb the spread of the disease.

Urging cooperation from all concerned state agencies, especially at border checkpoints, to help prevent the spread of the virus, Mr. Sukhumbhand said he had invited about 2,000 operators of Bangkok?s Internet cafes, school administrators, and the managers of malls and cinemas for a meeting on Monday.

He said they will be told of the danger of the disease and also be asked to help clean their business establishments properly in response to the virus, he said.

Mr. Sukhumbhand said BMA officials will join with the First Army Region in cleaning 431 temples in Bangkok during July 4-6. The campaign will start before Buddhist Lent which begins on July 8.

Meanwhile, entertainment establishments on Phuket Island were asked during a meeting Saturday to close their businesses for five days so that the owner would have enough time to clean and spray their places.

The request was made after an employee of one entertainment centre was found to have contracted the virus, becoming the first case to have been reported in the popular resort.

Blood tests on 26 employees of Phuket nightlife and other entertainment venues on the island believed to have come into close contact with Hong Kong tourists who returned home recently and were diagnosed with the virus, will be known later Saturday. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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