Thailand reports first Mers case
Thailand confirmed its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) today (June 18).
It is the fourth Asian country to be hit by the deadly virus this year.
Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said a 75-year-old businessman from Oman had tested positive for Mers.
He said: "From two lab tests, we can confirm that the Mers virus was found.
Mr Rajata added that the man had travelled to Bangkok for medical treatment for a heart condition.
"The first day he came, he was checked for the virus. The patient... contracted the Mers virus," he said.
The minister said 59 others in Thailand have been tested for the virus and are being monitored. Three of these suspected cases were the man's relatives who travelled with him to Bangkok.
South Korea outbreak slowing down
Meanwhile, the Mers outbreak in South Korea appears to be slowing down.
The country's health ministry reported three new cases, which is the lowest daily increase in 17 days.
Last week, as many as 23 new cases were being reported.
A total of 23 people have died from the virus and 165 people have been infected.
China and the Philippines have also reported one Mers case this year.
Thailand on alert
Earlier, Thailand’s Disease Control Department said it was screening travellers at 67 points of entry.
“We are checking 67 ports including land, sea and air,” said Mr Sophon Mekthon, secretary-general of Thailand’s Disease Control Department. “We’ve told all hospitals in Thailand to be on alert. Those who come back from the Middle East and South Korea must be checked thoroughly.”
Thailand is not the closest nation to Singapore to report the virus.
Last year, in April, a Malaysian man in Johor died from Mers after returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca.