BANGKOK, March 16 (Bangkok Post) - The chief of the Army Welfare Department has caught coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and 60 people in close contact with him have been quarantined at their homes, including some of the top brass.

Gen Nathaphon Srisawat, special adviser to the army, said on Monday that Maj Gen Rachit Arunrangsi, director-general of the Army Welfare Department, was infected and being treated at Phramongkutklao Hospital.

Officials had traced his activities back 14 days to identify people in close contact with him.

"Sixty people risked infection and home quarantine was ordered for them... They included 36 commanding officers deemed at high risk," Gen Nathaphon said.

Those in self-quarantine included some of the army top brass because they attended the same meeting last week, he said. Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong was not among them.

Others were drivers and family members of people in close contact.

"Those who were within 4.5 metres [of him] for at least 15 minutes are at risk," Gen Nathaphon said.

Army chief Gen Apirat ordered regular checks to ensure those in home quarantine obeyed the order, Gen Nathaphon said.

He said Maj Gen Rachit developed a fever last Friday and tested positive for Covid-19 at a private hospital.

Maj Gen Rachit had been at the Lumpini boxing stadium, in his capacity as the chief of the stadium, Gen Nathaphon said.