Thailand reports 7 new coronavirus cases: Health ministry

Thai health officials monitor arriving passengers from international flights with a thermal scan device at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok on Feb 7, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's public health ministry reported seven new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday (Feb 8), including three Thais and four Chinese.

The new cases brought the total reported in the country to 32, among the world's highest number of infections outside of China.

"The seven new cases are all in hospital," said Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Disease Control Department.

One of the Thai cases was part of the group of 138 evacuated from China's coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan on Tuesday, Dr Suwannachai told reporters.

The other two Thais had exposure to tourists, he said.

Among the four Chinese, three are members of the families of previously reported cases, while the other is a tourist from a "risky area" in China, said Dr Suwannachai.

Among the 32 cases Thailand has reported so far, 23 are Chinese while nine are Thais.

As of Saturday, one more patient was allowed to go home, bringing the count of discharges to 10, said Dr Suwannachai.

Twenty-two other patients remain in hospital, he said.

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