South Korean woman tests positive for coronavirus after visiting Thailand

SEOUL/BANGKOK: A South Korean tested positive after visiting Thailand, South Korean officials said Tuesday, the first foreign tourist to be infected after a visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

The 42-year-old man, identified only as patient 16, flew on January 19 after traveling to Thailand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Korea (KCDC) said in a statement.

Treated since she developed chills and other symptoms since January 25, the woman did not improve until Sunday, the KCDC said in a statement, and confirmed positive on Tuesday.

The statement did not explicitly rule out a patient's visit to China, and KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong declined to comment further.

Tanarak Plipat, deputy general manager of the Thai Department of Disease Control, said the woman could have contracted the virus in Thailand.

It is possible because the virus is already spreading nationwide in Thailand, Tanarak said.

Thailand has reported 19 cases of coronavirus, among the highest number of infections outside of China. He confirmed the first case of transmission of the virus from person to person within the country on Friday, when a taxi driver tested positive.