Thai celeb with COVID spurs closures around Bangkok

At left, Techin Ploypetch, aka DJ Matoom, who went public Wednesday night with his COVID-19 diagnosis. A file photo of the Central Embassy shopping mall, at right. Photos: @DJ_Matoom / Instagram, Wolfgang Weber / CC BY-SA 4.0
At left, Techin Ploypetch, aka DJ Matoom, who went public Wednesday night with his COVID-19 diagnosis. A file photo of the Central Embassy shopping mall, at right. Photos: @DJ_Matoom / Instagram, Wolfgang Weber / CC BY-SA 4.0

Several downtown businesses are closed today after learning they were visited by a celebrity infected with COVID-19.

Many public figures who came into contact with well-known radio and television host Techin Ploypetch, aka DJ Matoom, have gone to get tested after he went public with his diagnosis Wednesday night in a video posted to Instagram. Shops at two malls and a supermarket have also closed after learning he had visited.

Techin, a 31-year-old host on EFM94 entertainment radio, said that, within the past two weeks, he had visited places including a Foodland supermarket at The Street Ratchada and three shops at the Central Embassy shopping mall, the Joha Korean Restaurant in Ari, Sathon’s Vertigo rooftop bar and barbecue restaurant Yang Noey Ratchada. 

He does not know where he contracted the disease.

The Banyan Tree Bangkok, where Vertigo is located and Techin stayed overnight Jan. 9, announced the bar would reopen Saturday after being closed for cleaning. It said staff who came into close contact with Techin would quarantine 14 days.

The Street Ratchada announced that its Foodland would be closed for cleaning today and Saturday. It was the same at Central Embassy, which said three shops – The Embassy Lounge, Audemars Piguet and MCM – would reopen Sunday. 

Celebs including Puttichai “DJ Put” Kasetsin and Warattaya “Jooy” Nilkuha went to get tested after Techin reportedly visited the offices of media conglomerate GMM Grammy on Jan. 8. A total 331 Grammy employees got tested, all of which came back today negative.

There have yet to be any confirmed cases linked to Techin, however, and COVID-19 task force spokesperson Taweesilp Wissanuyothin denied that he was a “super spreader” saying that it was “too quick” to jump to such conclusions. Taweesilp yesterday during his routine daily briefing thanked Techin for outing himself and for disclosing detailed information to health workers.

Joha Korean Restaurant announced that all of its employees would be tested for COVID-19 and asked to quarantine themselves. The restaurant said it would remain closed until further notice. Popular barbecue franchise Yang Noey of Ratchada branch, where the celeb visited, also took the same steps.

Receding fears that Thailand’s month-old, second-wave outbreak would grow led Bangkok to relax some measures by allowing a variety of businesses including gyms, massage parlors and brothels to reopen today

Although there has been a steady decline in new cases in recent days, new cases today ticked back up to 309 – 297 of which were local transmissions with 12 found in state quarantine. 

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CITY: BANGKOKCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: BUSINESS, HEALTHTAGS:

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