The familiar face of Thailand’s pandemic response will be out of sight for at least two weeks after his colleagues came into close contact with a reporter infected with COVID-19.
While delivering today’s daily health update as he has nearly every day for the past year, COVID task force spokesman Taweesilp Wissanuyothin he would be tested and enter quarantine this afternoon because his colleagues were exposed to Korakot Yotchai, a reporter with government-operated NBT, aka the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand, whose test came back positive early this morning.
“I will wait and see the test results of my coworkers who help me with the briefing first before I reconsider the next step on how to take care of myself,” Taweesilp said.
The Disease Control Department already dispatched a team to conduct swab tests of NBT’s 1,200 employees and do a thorough cleaning for the building. Some of Korakot’s co-workers, some of whom worked closely with the spokesman, were deemed at high risk.
The chance that one of the government’s most senior officials tasked with combating the virus had been exposed would seem a serious breech of protocol.
When the current outbreak emerged last month, the governor at its epicenter in Samut Sakhon was among its first victims. Veerasak Vijitsaengsri remains in critical condition a month later.
Although the outbreak has shown signs of subsiding, it ticked back up to 309 new cases today, 297 of which were locally transmitted. Thirteen were found in Bangkok.