Seven new local cases of the coronavirus were reported on Saturday, including four from the same family and actor Matthew Deane Chanthavanij, lifting the total number of cases to 82.
Of the seven new cases, one was the 63-year-old mother of one of the 11 people diagnosed earlier with Covid-19 after they had all gone drinking together, according to Sukhum Karnchanapimai, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry.
Four others were family members, including a 57-year-old woman who sought treatment on March 4 for a cough and fever after returning from Japan. Her 30-year-old daughter, a company employee, became infected after developing a fever, a cough and runny nose on March 9. Her 33-year-old Japanese husband and their daughter, 4, developed a fever and a cough on the same day. They were also diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
Also confirmed with Covid-19 was a 20-year-old student who returned from Japan on Feb 20. She subsequently developed a fever, a cough, tiredness from breathing, muscle pains and a headache on Feb 27 and sought treatment at a private hospital.
The final case was a 41-year-old Thai actor who developed a fever, cough and muscle pains on March 11. He is now being treated at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, Dr Sukhum said at the ministry's daily briefing on Saturday.
While authorities do not disclose the names of patients, actor Matthew Deane Chanthavanij revealed his illness on Friday in a message on his Instagram account. He appealed to people who had been in contact with him to take appropriate steps.
Dr Sophon Iamsirithavorn, chief of the Disease Control Department, said the actor was a well-known figure who might have met many people. Those who came into contact with him before he became visibly ill on March 11 were at lower risk, he said.
But those who had been in contact with him since March 11 should monitor their condition for the next three to five days, avoid contacting other people and separate their personal items. If they develop symptoms, they must go to hospital immediately, he said.
It is not clear exactly how Matthew contracted the virus but he said that earlier he had met a friend who had recently returned from a trip abroad.