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SUNDAY, October 02, 2022
Missing Nigerian tourist diagnosed with monkeypox faces prosecution

Missing Nigerian tourist diagnosed with monkeypox faces prosecution

FRIDAY, July 22, 2022

The Public Health Ministry is working with the police in looking for a 27-year-old Nigerian man living in Phuket who has been diagnosed with monkeypox, the first confirmed case in Thailand.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Friday that the man reportedly took a taxi from the hotel on Wednesday night and has not been seen since. Earlier on July 16, he had visited a private hospital in Phuket to treat genital boils as an outpatient. The lab result three days later confirmed that he had the monkeypox virus.

Anutin, who is also a deputy prime minister, on Friday expressed his anger, saying the tourist’s behaviour was "horrible" and that he would be prosecuted under related laws, including the Communicable Disease Act. “This man might even face deportation,” added Anutin.

“The Department of Disease Control [DDC] notified me this morning that investigation on persons close to the patient had not found any infections so far,” said Anutin. “Monkeypox is not an easily transmittable disease, but we still need to contain the infection and monitor the symptoms of those at risk. Therefore authorities will try to bring him in as soon as possible.”

The DDC said on Friday that the two persons who may have come into contact with the patient have shown no symptoms and have tested negative. They have, however, been told to remain in isolation for 21 days for observation. Six out of 142 people who have been to two entertainment venues that the man visited in the past week have shown symptoms of fever and sore throat, but their blood test has shown no traces of the virus. They are also under observation in isolation for 21 days.