A Cluster of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Cases Linked to a Restaurant during Early Local SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Thailand
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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic. After notification of a new COVID-19 case working in a restaurant on 10 Mar 2020, the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand initiated an investigation of the index case and all contacts. The aim was to identify COVID-19 cases associated with the index case, identify potential sources of disease, describe the epidemiological characteristics, and control the outbreak. We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study of the identified cases from active case finding. A total of three laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases were identified, two of which were asymptomatic. The cases included the owner of the restaurant A (index), and two employees in the restaurant. In-dept interviews with the cases found that restaurant staffs and customers did not comply with important preventive methods such as social distancing and use of personal protective equipment. However, all cases were diligent about self-isolation when they were identified as having the infection by laboratory tests or when they developed symptoms. Following the investigation, the Thai government strengthened messaging about COVID-19 risks and prevention practices directed to restaurants.
Keywords: Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19, restaurant, Thailand
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