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50,000 to be tested for Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon, 198 new infections reported in Thailand today



50,000 people are lining up to be tested for Covid-19 in the hotspot of Samut Sakhon over the next 5 days as health officials step up pro-active testing in the hard-hit Thai province. The target of 10,000 people to be tested per day will focus on factory workers, communities and dormitories in an effort to change Krathum Ban and Muang districts from red to yellow and then green zones.

Apisamai Srirangsun, the CCSA deputy spokesperson, says they expect to find 2,000-3,000 new cases as a result of the increased tracking, tracing and testing. She says health officials are trying to track down and free Samut Sakhon of new infections.

“Officials are optimistic that that the pandemic will ease during the 2nd week of February.”

Samut Sakhon is the centre of the 2nd core wave of Covid in Thailand as a cluster of infections broke out late last year in the provincial seafood markets along the coast, just south west of Bangkok. She also said that educational institutes, in some areas of Samut Sakhon, may be allowed to reopen during the next month, if the situation improves.

“But many businesses may have to wait to reopen.”

So far, 70,000 people in the province have been tested for the virus with 5,332 found to be infected. Most of those infected are migrant workers from Myanmar, with the infection rate around 7%.

According to the CCSA, 198 new Covid-19 cases were recorded today, including 191 locally-transmitted infections and 7 imported. 1 more fatality was reported, bringing the national total death toll to 73.

The latest victim was a 73 year old woman from Samut Sakhon, who also suffered from dementia, high blood pressure and epilepsy. She was found to have been infected by family members on January 9 and was admitted to the hospital suffering from fatigue and a severe lung inflammation. The woman was placed on a respirator and was transferred to Thaksin Hospital, but she passed away yesterday after her condition worsened.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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