Thailand could expect more than 10,000 A(H1N1) infections nationwide as the swine flu had already spread across the country, Witthaya Kaewparadai, the Public Health Minister, warned.
Authorities reported that the number of infections in Thailand rose to 89, with 43 new confirmed cases added yesterday.
Dr Prat Boonyawongvirot, Permanent Secretary for Public Health, said the latest confirmed cases came for Bangkok, Songkla, Phuket, and Pattaya.
The Health Ministry also sent officials to collect virus samples from 50 kindergarten students in a school in Pathum Thani for checking after they got high fever.
The lab test results were expected to released today.
Education Minister Jurin Laksanavisit said the executives of each school in Bangkok can make their own decision whether to suspend classes during this period.
Mahidol University's Faculty of Public Health yesterday suspended their classes after learning that one of the students, who recently returned from the US, had been infected with the influenza A (H1N1) and was undergoing treatment at hospital.
Meanwhile, the Thai Hotels Association (THA) has urged entertainment venues, pubs and restaurants in the tourist resort of Pattaya to close their outlets temporarily in order to help prevent the spread of A(H1N1) influenza.
THA President Chatchawal Supachayanont said bars and restaurants are usually overcrowded so they better suspend business to avoid widespread infections.
Earlier, two Taiwanese visitors and local staff were found to have been infected inside a Pattaya discoteque.
The World Health Organisation on Thursday raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6, the highest level, but it recommends no restrictions on travel and no border closures.
Phurit Maswongsa, Phuket Tourism Association's Vice-President for Marketing, warned that the WHO should be careful that travellers and the general public could be frightened by the higher level of alert.
To inform the public of proper measures to cope with the flu, the public health ministry will distribute manuals to all department store and other public venues initially in Bangkok areas.
Individuals are also advised to keep themselves fit and if they develop mild symptom sof influenza virus, they should have immediate treatment.
Health Minsiter Witthaya said the governmenty has ordered two million doses of vaccines from drug manufacturers.
The Disease Control Department also has a stock of antiviral Oseltamivir drug for 420,000 people, while Government Pharmaceutical Organisation is preparing to produce an additional 100,000 antiviral drugs for flu pandemic.
Oseltamivir will be prescribed only to children age under 5 year old, people aged over 65, and patients with chronic disease as they do not have body immunity against flu virus.
Source: The Nation 2009-06-13http://www.nationmultimedia.com/