Hatyai Hospital in Songkhla has established a new laboratory called Designated Receiving Area (DRA) to screen Ebola virus patients.

Director-General of the Medical Sciences Department Apichai Mongkol presided over the opening ceremony of the laboratory with participation from the Chief of Songkhla provincial Public Health Office, the Director of Hatyai Hospital and related authorities.

M.D. Apichai said that a standardised DRA laboratory was needed in Songkhla, especially Hat Yai District as the province was the main gate to the southern region, receiving a great number of tourists, both Thai and foreign.

The province possesses several tourist attractions and an international airport while serving as a transportation hub for the southern region. Moreover, over ten thousand Thai Muslims in the South go on a Hajj Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia which is a Corona Virus 2012-hit country every year, making Hat Yai prone to the spread of Ebola.

The Director-General said the DRA laboratory will screen Ebola virus from other diseases and prevent such a hazardous disease from spreading to local communities.

He added that Hatyai Hospital was apt to be the location of the DRA since the hospital had an efficient screening system, supplemented by a full range of medical equipment operated by experienced medical teams. Thus the hospital holds high potentials to deal with serious communicable disease patients.

One suspected Ebola case had so far been found in Songkhla, but the patient was later confirmed to have no infections after a 21-day symptom watch period.-VNA