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The Post in Thailand reports that the government is denying it has downplayed the severity of H1N1 flu, amid opposition claims of a cover-up. A day after the first two Thai fatalities from the virus were confirmed, former deputy public health minister Vicharn Meenchainant said he believed the govt had attempted to cover up at least one of the deaths, as confirmation took days to emerge.
The victims are a 40-year-old woman with heart trouble who died on June 20 and a 42-year-old engineer in Chon Buri who died on Saturday. But Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai insisted the ministry had not concealed information about the flu. He said a cover-up would be pointless because it was a non-political issue. He had made it mandatory for doctors to report all new infections, which were then announced to the public.
Thailand has reported 1,289 cases of the virus.
We'd say with swine flu killing no more people than ordinary seasonal flu, it's turned out to all be a bit of a storm in a teacup. Of course, that could change, but for now... keep on travelling! You've probably got more to fear from more red shirt protests than swine flu in Thailand.
#1 travelfishnews has been a member since 23/2/2009. Posts: 83
I think Thailand is doing less of a "cover up" than the US, UK, Australia, Canada etc. who now only test people ill enough to need hospital treatment. A few days ago the head of the CDC said they estimated that over a million people in the US have been infected by the virus.
In spite of disinfection campaigns, masks and public health booklets the number of cases in Thailand has been rising very fast since mid June... Thailand had it's first confirmed cases on May 12th (much later than Europe)By June 8th there were still only 9 confirmed cases, there are now over 1300 reported cases, more than any other country in Asia, including China. The Thai govt gives daily updates on the number of cases and they have just announced a third death.
Although the death rate in the West seems low, if the Thai figures are accurate, 3 deaths for 1330 cases is a much higher death rate than for seasonal flu.
BANGKOK, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Thai Public Heath Ministry on Wednesday morning announced one additional death case from A/H1N1 flu, the 11th flu fatality in the country, soon after the tenth death was confirmed earlier the day, Thai media reported.
According to Bangkok Post online, the ministry said the latest victim was a 21-year-old woman from Bangkok. And just moments before that, Public Heath Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai confirmed a university student in Phuket had died of the new flu strain, without giving more details.
The two death cases reported Wednesday brought the total fatalities from A/H1N1 flu in Thailand to 11, and the ministry also confirmed 290 new infection cases, raising the total cases to 2,718.
Among the patients still in hospital, eight are in critical condition, the ministry said.
Doesn't sound like they are covering up much to me although the total number of cases is probably an under-estimate like everywhere else.
The WHO actually asked countries with a lot of cases to stop counting a few days ago.
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