After examining his test results, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) has confirmed that the Myanmar migrant worker who was arrested in Phatthalung on Wednesday and tested positive for COVID-19 was infected before entering Thailand.
The DDC wants to reassure the public that the migrant poses a low risk of transmission, as the test indicates he had been infected for a while.
Opas Karnkawinpong, acting director-general of the DDC, said the public should not panic as the blood test result from Department of Medical Sciences showed the 26-year-old Myanmar migrant worker had been infected with the virus before entering Thailand on Monday.
“The test shows this patient had developed immunity, which means he had been infected for a while. That also means the virus had weakened, posing a low risk for transmission,” said Dr Karnkawinpong.
The patient may have been infected in Malaysia, where he worked. The department ran a background check and found the man had worked in a market in Malaysia since 2018 that was a hot-spot for the virus.
Dr Karnkawinpong said health officials are tracing the people he was in contact with after he arrived in Thailand. During the pandemic, the man needed to return to Myanmar via Tak’s Mae Sot district in Thailand as he was missing travel documents.
He commuted by bus with eight companions and slept a night on Langkawi island, Malaysia.
The next day, he took a boat to a pier in Satun at 4 am and travelled by car to Tak, before he was arrested in Phatthalung.