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No virus in Pattaya, but plenty masking up

Although only 12 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Thailand – none in Pattaya – locals and tourists are masking up.

There have been no cases of the disease being transmitted inside Thailand as of Jan. 30, with all those infected having contracted the virus while in China. Nonetheless, herd mentality has the majority of Asian tourists and most Thais wearing surgical masks and giving funny looks to anyone who isn’t.

Thais interviewed said they’ve traded in their N95 pollution masks for cheaper surgical masks. Faced with a killer virus, they reason, bad air isn’t as much of a concern, even though, in fact, long-term exposure to PM 2.5 is a graver health threat to Thailand.

If you’re planning on jumping on the mask bandwagon, the World Health Organization has offered 10 tips for good hygiene.

Firstly, don’t go to infection zones like Hubei Province in China unless necessary.

Avoid touching wild animals, animal products or visiting wild animal markets.

Stay away from people with flu-like symptoms. If they’re coughing or sneezing, stay at least 180 centimeters away.

If you are returning from an at-risk region and feel ill, seek medical help. The Thailand Disease Control Department can be reached at 1442.

Wash your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds, and use handwashing gel containing alcohol.

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