Bangkok: No new cases of monkeypox have been reported in Thailand since the first reported case in the kingdom last week.
Phuket’s provincial health chief, Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, said a total of 14 people deemed to be at high risk because they were in close contact with the kingdom’s first patient, tested negative for monkeypox.
“Results for seven more should be available within a day or two,” he said.
He added that public health authorities are stepping up active case finding after a 27-year-old Nigerian man, who overstayed his visa in Thailand, was diagnosed with monkeypox in the resort town of Phuket on July 18. .
However, the man had disappeared after being informed of his positive test result. He was found on Saturday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and taken to hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha instructed the Ministry of Public Health and relevant agencies to prepare a response plan to manage the risk of monkeypox in the kingdom.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prayuth had ordered the immigration office to step up surveillance at the country’s entry points, especially travelers from high-risk countries.
He said the Ministry of Public Health has also raised its nationwide monkeypox alert in a bid to boost public confidence in the effectiveness of the country’s health system.
“The public is urged to continue to strictly adhere to universal prevention measures to prevent the spread of both the COVID-19 pandemic and monkeypox,” it said in a statement today.
On Saturday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern (USPPI)”. The classification is the highest alert that the WHO can issue following an upsurge in cases around the world.
To date, more than 16,000 cases have been reported in 75 countries, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. – Bernama