Thailand has today issued a new coronavirus warning after a spike of 13 cases were traced to a group of friends who shared cigarettes and whiskey while on a night out.
Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the health ministry’s permanent secretary, said that the cluster of cases was caused by party-goers who became infected while enjoying Bangkok’s nightlife.
He told reporters: ‘There was inappropriate behaviour, sharing drinks, cigarettes and not avoiding social activities after returning from an at-risk country.’
Adding: ‘Don’t share cigarettes and drinks.’
The group repeatedly met to socialise in Bangkok on February 21, 27 and 29, reports Thai PBS World.
Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai told the publication that the friends had been ‘drinking from the same glass of whisky and smoking the same cigarette in an enclosed air-conditioned room for a long time’.
One of the friends had earlier been in contact with tourists from Hong Kong.
The group’s diagnosis saw the highest daily jump of 11 cases in the country on Thursday.
However, none of the newly diagnosed patients is believed to be ‘super spreaders’.
Colonel Pairot said that police were seeking the whereabouts of the homeowner, who was identified as a 47-year-old named Jintana Namwichai.
There are now more than 118,000 cases of coronavirus across the globe.
Some 4,291 people have died and 114 countries have been infected.
The World Health Organisation declared the worldwide spread a pandemic and advised people to wash their hands at least five times a day with soap and water or hand sanitiser to protect themselves against the virus.
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