People arriving in Thailand from six countries and territories will have to submit daily reports on their health as a measure against the spread of the new virus
SEOUL, South Korea —
The Latest on the virus outbreak (all times local):
People arriving in Thailand from six countries and territories will have to submit daily reports on their health as a measure against the spread of the new virus.
Thailand’s Public Health Ministry announced the new regulation Friday after officially designating South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran as “dangerous communicable disease areas.”
Dr. Thanarak Plipat, deputy director of the Bureau of Epidemiology under the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Disease Control, said officials can order people to be placed under quarantine if they are suspected of having the virus.
Both Thai citizens and foreigners who visited those areas must produce daily reports on their health and their whereabouts for 14 days, with officials collecting the information either online or by phone.
The government has been reluctant to impose broad restrictions on travelers. Thailand’s tourism industry is huge, both in terms of revenue and people employed, and visitors from China — where the virus outbreak began — comprise the greatest share of arrivals. Hotels and other tourism-related businesses have reported sharp losses.
The U.N. human rights chief is calling on governments and businesses to help alleviate the effect of lockdowns, quarantines and other measures aimed to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet says measures to fight the virus should comply with human rights standards, and says efforts should be made to “protect the most vulnerable and neglected people in society.”
Bachelet’s office said school closures like those instituted in some countries could force parents to stay home from work, “a measure that is likely to disproportionately affect women.” It said workers who “self-isolate” could face lost pay or jobs, and pointed to the impact on trade — which could trickle down to employees.
Bachelet said in Friday’s statement that governments should be alert to “unintended consequences of their actions,” while businesses should respond “with flexibility to the impact on their employees.”
Bachelet said “human dignity and rights need to be front and center in that effort, not an afterthought.”
A Vatican spokesman has confirmed the first case of coronavirus at the city-state, as did officials in the African nation of Cameroon.
Vatican Spokesman Matteo Bruni said Friday that non-emergency medical services at the Vatican have been closed so they can be sanitized following the positive test on Thursday.
More details on the identity of the person testing positive were not made available.
Vatican medical services are also available to staff and family members of people working at the Vatican.
The pope, meanwhile, is recovering from a cold, and the Vatican has said that he has no other pathologies.
Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health said its first patient is a 58-year-old French citizen who arrived in the Central African country on Feb. 24. The ministry said Friday that surveillance has been put in place, and the patient is in solitary confinement in a hospital.
Japan has canceled a memorial for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Crown Prince Akishino and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been scheduled to speak at the event next Wednesday. The government memorial in past years was broadcast live to towns worst-hit by the disaster, but the local events were being canceled or trimmed back as well.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday the cancellation was unavoidable because Japan “must take all possible steps to stop the further spread of the virus in the country.” Japan has urged schools to close nationwide and limited large gatherings of people among its containment measures.
Japan has more than 1,000 cases of infection, including about 700 from a cruise ship.
The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Japan’s northeastern coast, killed 18,000 people and caused reactor meltdowns at a damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture.