He urged the public not to believe in misinformation on the spread of this disease shared in the social media, as they might get into a panic unnecessarily.
Speaking on January 26 after a workshop on the prevention and control of the spread of the coronavirus from China, Anutin confirmed that so far eight cases of the coronavirus have been found in Thailand.
These patients were infected with the disease while abroad. Among them, five have already returned home after being treated, while three are being treated in hospitals, supervised by the Ministry of Public Health.
Anutin said that a team of medical experts had been invited to monitor the situation. If stringent measures are needed, the Ministry of Public Health is ready to take immediate action, as it gives top priority to the good health of the people.
He said that whether the situation becomes more severe or not depends on the screening system for disease control. Thailand’s surveillance and screening system are now 100 percent effective, and the Ministry of Public Health is confident about its ability to handle the situation. Therefore, people should not panic.
Infrared thermo scan units have been set up at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Krabi international airports for round-the-clock screening of all passengers. The Department of Disease Control has also handed out a "Health Beware Card” for travellers arriving in Thailand. Visitors traveling from abroad may contact the authorities, if they become sick and are afraid of being infected with the disease.
Anutin said that he had assigned the Ministry of Public Health, through the Department of Disease Control, to hold press briefings to give updated information on the disease, so that the public would have a better understanding of the situation.