Thailand Reports First Doctor to Perish From Coronavirus

An undated photo of Panya Hanphanitphan released by his family.

BANGKOK — A physician died from the coronavirus in Mahasarakham province in the early hours of Thursday, the first case of virus fatality among the health professionals in Thailand.

The death of Panya Hanphanitphan, M.D., was confirmed by his family and a healthcare foundation where he served as a senior advisor. He was 66. Reports say Panya caught the disease from a coronavirus patient who sought medical assistance at his clinic in January.

According to the timeline published by the Department of Health, three people who were later found with coronavirus visited Panya’s clinic throughout January amid the new virus outbreak in Mahasarakham. The cluster of the infection was traced to a house party that was held on Jan. 14.



Panya learned about the patients’ infections on Jan. 28 and closed down his clinic, before seeking a coronavirus test on the following day, reports say, though the lab result came out negative.

The doctor went for another test on Feb. 1, upon which he tested positive with the coronavirus. Panya was admitted to a hospital, but his conditions later worsened. He died at about 1.30am on Thursday, according to media reports.

Panya’s death is the 83rd virus fatality in the country since the outbreak began in early 2020. The cumulative case number stood at 24,961 as of Wednesday.