Member Since: 1/1/01
This is why sports events have been cancelled globally.
As of Friday, confirmed cases from a March 6 Thai Boxing event at Lumpini stadium in Bangkok totaled 72, more than a fifth of the national toll of 322. It's feared hundreds more in all corners of the country could be viral time bombs.
The air-conditioned hall was hosting the first big Muay Thai event of the season. Eleven bouts started at 6 p.m. and ended just after midnight. The crowd was about 5,000.
"We were squeezed against each other,'' said Suwan Jitpinit, 37, who traveled from his hometown in Sukhothai province, a 260-mile drive. "Normally the place isn't that crowded. At other regular events, there would be about 1,500 to 2,000 people in the stadium but because this was a special match, there were many more people."
Jitpinit stayed in Bangkok for another event, and headed home on March 10. He began to feel feverish and was shivering so much he had to ask someone else to drive. When he arrived that evening, he went to a local hospital and was diagnosed with tonsillitis. Not feeling any better three days later, he sought help from a bigger hospital in nearby Phitsanulok.
He asked to be tested for coronavirus. The result came back positive. His wife was infected too, and their village is now under quarantine.
Ordinary boxing fans from other provinces, both near Bangkok and in the north, the northeast and the south, have also tested positive for the disease. Among them was a local politician, Kitti Paopiamsap, head of the Chachoengsao provincial administration organization.
According to reports in the Thai media, between the time Paopiamsap attended the Lumpini match and when he tested positive, he attended six weddings, six funerals, three community meetings (two of them with the elderly), three Buddhist ordinations, three fairs, and at least four other public meetings.