Thailand situation report as of March 30, 2020, at 08:00 a.m.

1,524 confirmed cases 127 patients have recovered 9 deaths

The global situation report as of March 31, 2020, at 09:33 a.m.

858,785 confirmed cases 42,151 deaths

Source: Johns Hopkins CSSE , and Ministry of Public Health

The Chinese government released new data on the coronavirus (COVID-19 ) situation and acted decisively to quarantine the city of Wuhan to limit the risk of contagion before mass travel associated with Chinese New Year festivities. For day to day situation reports, please follow the links at the end of the article.
Coronavirus COVID-19 has been identified by Chinese scientists. Its origin is most likely animal, however human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. The lessons from the 2003 SARS-CoV instruct extreme caution when making definitive conclusion about the virus severity as it took 2 months for the SARS-CoV to reach its final form.
On 2 March 2020, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health classified eleven countries as high-risk zones for COVID-19 to accommodate forthcoming control measures.

  1. China
  2. France
  3. Germany
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Iran
  6. Italy
  7. Japan
  8. Macao
  9. South Korea
  10. Singapore
  11. Taipei and vicinity
The name coronavirus comes from its shape, which resembles a crown when observed with a microscope. Coronavirus is transmitted through the air and primarily infects the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds. Though most of the coronaviruses only cause flu-like symptoms, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV can infect both upper and lower airways and cause severe respiratory illness and other complications in humans.
This new COVID-19 resembles SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV and causes similar symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment available for coronavirus infection. A better understanding of the life cycle of COVID-19, including the source of the virus, how it is transmitted and how it replicates are needed to both prevent and treat the disease.


Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19): First reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): First reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS): First reported in 2002 in southern China.
Common cold caused by coronavirus: Four coronavirus strains are thought to be responsible for 15-30% of common colds.


Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19): Likely from touching or eating an infected, as yet unidentified animal. Human-to-human transmission occurs through close contact.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): Often from touching infected camels or consuming their milk or meat. Limited transmission between humans through close contact.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS): Believed to have spread from bats, which infected civets.Transmitted mainly between humans through close contact.
Common cold caused by coronavirus: Close contact with infected humans or touching a surface that carries the virus.


Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19): Around 858,785 confirmed cases; 42,151 deaths as of April 01, 2020 09:08 am EST
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): 2,494 confirmed cases; 858 deaths (as of Nov. 30, 2019). Mortality rate of 34%.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS): 8,098 cases; 774 deaths. Mortality rate of about 10%.
Common cold caused by coronavirus: Millions each year. Generally nonlethal with rare exceptions.


Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19): Cases reported in Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Taipei Municipality, China, Macau Special Administrative Region, USA and the Republic of Korea; All had travel history to Wuhan.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): All cases linked to Arabian Peninsula, with 80% in Saudi Arabia. Others in about two dozen countries, including U.S. Cases and deaths have been declining since 2016.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS): No new cases reported since 2004. 87% of previous cases in China and Hong Kong.
Common cold caused by coronavirus: Circulates year-round, but more common in fall/winter.

Source: World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Wuhan Municipal Healtd Commission
Credit: Daniel Wood/NPR

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About the virus

A: Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which cause diseases ranging from a simple cold (some seasonal viruses are coronaviruses) to more severe diseases such as MERS or SARS. the virus identified in China is a novel coronavirus. It has been referred to as COVID-19.


A: there is no scientific data for this virus to date. However, by analogy with other viruses of the same family, this virus is suspected to be able to remain infectious in an outdoor environment, from a few hours to a few days depending on the environment in which it is located. It is a virus wrapped and therefore by some aspects more fragile than other viruses.
Standard hygiene measures (hand washing, cleaning surfaces) are effective.


A: According to WHO, a ‘suspect case’ is a patient with fever and cough requiring hospitalization, who has tested negative for any known pathogens which cause acute respiratory tract infections, and either: 1) has a history of travel to, or residence in, an affected area in China within the 14 days prior to symptom onset, or 2) is a healthcare worker working where patients with COVID-19 infection are located.


A: The diagnosis is suspected upon the onset of signs of respiratory infection in a person returning from China in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms, in accordance with the case definition.
A specific biological test is required to confirm 2019-nCoV infection. A specimen will be collected and sent to a central laboratory designated by the Department of Disease Control. Results will take approximately 48 hours.


A: To date, no specific treatment has been identified for this new coronavirus; treatment is symptomatic.


A: Among the cases reported to date, several patients have developed a severe form of the disease, some of whom have died. Available information suggests that the virus may cause symptoms similar to moderate influenza, but there may also be more severe symptoms. the disease can also progress over time. Patients with pre-existing chronic diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver disease, and respiratory disease, as well as the elderly, appear to be more likely to develop severe forms of the disease. We still have a lot to learn about this virus, and we will continue to analyze all available information on existing and new cases.


A: As with many infectious diseases, people with underlying chronic conditions (respiratory distress, frail people, elderly people, etc.) are at a higher risk.



A: the main symptoms are fever and respiratory signs such as coughing or shortness of breath. In more severe cases, the disease can lead to serious lung infection and death.


A: Yes, especially if you have one or more of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, and shortness of breath after travelling from Wuhan, Huanggang, Chibi, Ezhou, Zhijiang, Enshi, Xiaogan, Xianning, Huangshi, Xiantao, Qianjiang, Jingzhou, Lichuan, Hubei, or Guangzhou within the past 14 days. If you meet these criteria please notify our nurse or staff when you visit Samitivej.



A: The first cases that were identified were people who had been to the Wuhan market (closed since 1 January 2020): the hypothesis of zoonosis (disease transmitted by animals) is therefore preferred. Human-to-human transmission has since been proven in China, Japan, Germany, and Vietnam. the evolution of knowledge in the coming weeks will allow us to learn more about the modes of transmission of this virus, its level of transmission, virulence, incubation period and the animals that can be carriers.


A: Close contact means sharing the same location as a sick person experiencing symptoms (in the same home, hospital or boarding room) or having direct face to face contact (1-2 meters apart and without effective protective measures) with a sick person during a discussion, or when they cough or sneeze.


A: The degree of human-to-human spread outside of Hubei province remains unclear. the virus’ reproductive number, R0, is estimated by WHO at 1.4–2.5. An R0 greater than 1 indicates that each case leads to more than 1 subsequent case, making it much more difficult to control.


A: Every virus mutates and can mutate at any time depending on the situation. It is still too early to tell whether the virus will mutate and become more contagious or deadly, but it is being closely observed by scientists around the world.



A: They are not exactly related. You can choose to wear either a hygienic mask or an N95 mask. N95 masks can be less comfortable but offer a higher degree of protection.



  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet, exercise regularly and get plenty of rest.
  • Wear a protective face mask when entering built up areas or when coming into contact with infected patients (especially when they are coughing or sneezing).
  • Ensure you always wash your hands with soap or alcohol-based hand gels, and avoid contact with unsanitary surfaces prior to eating.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
  • Stay away from places with high levels of air pollution, especially where PM2.5 is prevalent.
  • Be sure not to share the use of face towels or cutlery with others, and avoid sharing meals with infected patients.
  • Avoid traveling to places or countries where there is a suspected flu outbreak. If you must visit, be sure to wear a protective face mask when in public spaces.
  • Be sure to receive an annual influenza vaccination. Influenza is one of the most common viruses and can cause a wide range of other health complications.
  • Young infants and the elderly should also receive a pneumonia vaccination, as this can reduce their chances of developing pneumonia by up to 75%.


Preventive Measures

A: This is a new and emerging outbreak, and right now is too early to predict the final outcome. this time the world is better prepared. We learned a lot from both tdhe SARS and MERS outbreaks, and we believe that we can deal with this situation faster and more efficiently.


A: When meat is cooked, viruses are destroyed. Consumption of uncooked animal products, including milk and meat, poses a significant risk of infection by a wide variety of organisms that can cause disease in humans. Animal products that are cooked or pasteurized can be consumed, but they must also be carefully preserved to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked food.



  1. Install thermal scanners at entrances.
  2. Set up a patient screening area.
  3. Transfer suspected patients to an isolation room.
  4. Place a clear sign detailing patient’s symptoms.
  5. Increase provision of alcohol gels and face masks.
  6. Provide face masks to patients who cough or sneeze.
  7. Give importance to hand hygiene.
  8. Staff thoroughly clean all public spaces.



A: Currently, there is no travel restriction to Thailand imposed by any country. However, tourists should be cautious and vigilant of the current situation. Thai officials state that they can still keep the situation under control and they have a clear direction on how to handle the outbreak. My best advice is to stay up to date with travel health advisories from trustworthy authorities such as WHO and Thailand’s Department of Disease Control
Here are the links to their websites.


A: Coronavirus is not visible. If a person appears to have a high fever and respiratory tract symptoms, and comes from an area where the virus is endemic (see answer to question 6), it would be reasonable to assume that the person may carry coronavirus.


A: As of 30 January 2020, there have been several case reports supporting human-to-human asymptomatic transmission, but this has not yet been confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is still premature to conclude that the virus can be transmitted from an asymptomatic patient, who has tested positive for the virus, to another person. If asymptomatic transmission is proven to be true, the current protocols which WHO and many countries’ healthcare authorities use to screen and prevent the spread of the disease will be significantly less effective.


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