Thailand’s public health ministry confirmed on Sunday that the number of coronavirus cases in the country had risen to eight, making it the country with the largest number of cases outside of China.
Seven out of the eight cases were Chinese tourists from Wuhan and the last case was a Thai woman who had visited the city recently.
According to Wuhan’s mayor, over 5 million people had left Wuhan city for Lunar New Year holidays before it was quarantined by the Chinese government.
Beijing has taken drastic steps to contain the virus including the quarantine of the city and the restriction of travel from the region but the virus has already been found in other major Chinese metropolitan areas.
Thailand’s health minister Anutin Charnvirakul and the ministry’s emergency response teams came under pressure over the weekend after it emerged that officials had removed temperature monitors from Bangkok’s two major airports.
One of the top trending hashtags on Twitter on Saturday evening was #รัฐบาลเฮงซวย or #crappygovernment.
Many people used the hashtag to call out the government for its inaction in handling the ongoing emergencies.
Anutin was criticised for a Facebook post where he questioned public criticisms.
“Today, they already cancelled all flights from Wuhan. Why would the airport keep monitors at the GATE, please think a little bit before you criticise. Right now we are controlling the situation.”
Airport officials have since reinstalled monitors for incoming flights.
Source of virus
According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 33 out of 585 samples collected from a Wuhan seafood market tested positive for the strand of coronavirus.
The body said that increased the likelihood that the virus originated from wildlife sold within the city for consumption.
Beijing has allocated over $43 million US Dollars to build facilities to fight the disease. According to Chinese state media, the country is currently building two emergency hospitals in Wuhan to cope with the number of patients.