BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Dozens of train passengers and employees are currently being quarantined for fear of the COVID-19 pandemic after an elderly male was found dead due to the highly infectious disease on board a train, Thai railway officials said.
The elderly male was found lying dead Monday aboard the train near Thap Sakae railway station in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, about 290 km south of Bangkok, acting State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Worawut Mala said, according to local media reports Thursday.
The train departed Bangkok’s Bang Sue railway station and was destined for Su-ngai Kolok district of Narathiwat province in southern Thailand.
The Muslim native of Narathiwat, who had suffered from diabetes and returned from Pakistan on Sunday, was Thailand’s first person found dead due to COVID-19 without undergoing a medical treatment at a hospital. He was among the 279 airline passengers in flight TG350 from Islamabad to Bangkok.
Worawut said that 15 train passengers who had shared the same carriage with the deceased one as well as 11 train employees, who had been in contact with him at Bang Sue railway station and on board the train in which he rode, are currently undergoing the test and quarantine process for possibilities of infection.
All carriages of the train as well as Bang Sue railway station and Thap Sakae railway station have been sterilized with disinfectant chemicals, he said.
Meanwhile, authorities are searching for an unknown young male who was buying a train ticket at a box office of the Bangkok railway station when the elderly male, who was hours later pronounced dead due to COVID-19, quietly approached from behind and coughed on him, the acting SRT governor said.
However, the young man, who was wearing a mask at the time and is yet to be located by the authorities and quarantined for 14 days, was strongly advised to go to a hospital to see if he might have been infected.
The total number of confirmed cases in Thailand rose to 1,875, with a death toll of 15, according to the health department.