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516 cases in one day – Samut Sakhon, Thailand’s new Covid-19 hotspot




UPDATE: Some publications are announcing Saturday’s daily total in Thailand as 576. We will update the precise number as more information becomes available.

Thailand’s CCSA has announced more than 500 Covid-19 cases among migrant workers at the centre of its seafood industry, on an enormous 1-day rise in a country that had gone into mild panic after just 1 or 2 daily community cases in recent months. Samut Sakhon, just south west of Bangkok, has been put under a lockdown with a curfew imposed from 10pm – 5am daily. The curfew went into effect last night and will last until at least January 3 in the wake of the new surge.

The borders to the province have also been closed with movements in and out of the province banned for now.

Samut Sakhon is a hub for Thailand’s fishing industry with tributaries running from the Gulf of Thailand. Four infections were reported at a shrimp market last Friday. The first case was a 67 year old woman – a vendor at a local fish market.

Preciously Thailand’s highest number of daily reported cases was 188 on March 22 this year.

516 cases in one day - Samut Sakhon, Thailand's new Covid-19 hotspot | News by Thaiger

The centre for the current outbreak has focussed on Burmese migrant workers in Samut Sakhon’s coastal fishing markets and industry. Fishing workers from Myanmar form the vast majority of the new cases. Myanmar has suffered a far worse outbreak of Covid-19 than Thailand having reached a total of 115,187 detected cases, after being at a total of 919 cases on September 1.

Thailand is among the world’s 10 largest shrimp and fish exporters.

Thailand’s Disease Control Department director-general announced that the 576 new cases were discovered after Covid-19 testing that included 1,192 migrant workers. 90% were asymptomatic. They have expressed concern that Samut Sakhon shares provincial borders with Greater Bangkok.

“The effect will be minimal as the infections occurred in young and strong migrant workers.”

More than 550 new cases were reported, a huge surge to Thailand’s total of 4,800 cases which includes 60 Covid-related deaths in the country of 69 million. Thailand’s Covid-19 case load has been fewer than any country with such a large population, except Vietnam.

The DSD says there is a high likelihood of finding more cases within the migrant fishing community. The province has now been ordered closed until January 3 and put under a 10am to 5pm curfew. The major southern route from Bangkok goes straight through the middle of the province although there are other routes that can be taken to the north of Samut Sakhon.

Samut Sakhon’s Governor Wirasak says the surprising the number of infections was “more than expected”.

Nearly 1.9 million Burmese workers were accounted for in Thailand in 2019, although the real number could be twice as many. Another recent outbreak was traced to both Thais and Burmese who crossed the porous northern border points illegally.

The surge in cases, so close to Bangkok, comes just as the country is trying to reboot a tourist industry that has been devastated by the government’s reaction to the pandemic, with border closures and travel restrictions.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | CNA |Reuters


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  1. Avatar


    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 9:52 am

    516 ‘cases’ but 90% were asymptomatic, in other words only 51 were sick, at least according to very flawed RT-PCR tests. Good, curfew the province because the virus comes out hunting only at night – sort of like ghosts…

    If the govt really wants to create fear, just start saying the shrimp is infected !

  2. Avatar


    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 10:06 am

    No testing, no covid 🙂

    • Avatar

      Alte Ledertasche

      Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 11:02 am

      Thats exactly what I thought. Remember the incident in Chiang Rai ? They tested only a few contact persons and only found a few infected.

      Now they tested more and found more infections. Simple math.

      Lets watch the coming days. If I assume rightly they will reduce testing and not many new cases will occur. Than after 2-4 weeks they will praise the measures undertaken and declare that all is under control.

      Thai face saving BS to continue. And if that not works they have the Migrant labor force to blame. Nothing new in BS Land of Scam.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 12:48 pm

        Which “incident in Chiang Rai”?

        If you’re referring to the 1G1 incident, several thousand were tested as a result.

        ‘Yes’ it’s “simple math” that the more you test the more cases you’ll find, but it’s hopelessly flawed as an indicator of how widespread Covid is as every expert commenting on it will tell you.

        The only “face saving BS” is by those desperately scrabbling to find some way of explaining why the West has done so terribly badly in controlling Covid while others (including Thailand, but a few others in Asia too)have done so well.

        • Avatar

          Alte Ledertasche

          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 7:55 pm

          Several thousands ? Where you have this figures from ?

        • Avatar

          Alte Ledertasche

          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 9:32 pm

          You are a lunatic. Thailand controls nothing, they are lazy and incompetent in all fields of business. The only reason why they have not many cases so far is that they only not test much of the local population.

          Lets wait and see.

          I hope for 100k and more cases in Land of Scam, a lock down of Bangkok and another blow to the economy. They deserve it.

          Flights out are available, my assets overseas. I love it.

          • Avatar


            Monday, December 21, 2020 at 6:08 am

            I’m guessing you have been scam a lot. If you didn’t realize it yet, but Every country have scammers.

          • Avatar

            Alte Ledertasche

            Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:06 am

            I havent been scammed at all because I am very carefull and trust nobody.

            What I experienced in Thailand are numerous attempts of scams sometimes so blatant obvious that a 6 year old would realize it.

            This is anoying, timewasting and is insulting my intelligence hence I for myself have reduced my exposure to Thai people to a possible minimum.

          • Avatar


            Monday, December 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

            Thai govt isn’t perfect, no govt is. But the reality seems to be that Thailand has had one of the best responses to this pandemic of any country. I don’t think anyone can say if figures are fully accurate, but i do know we aren’t seeing the crippling effects here that are happening in other countries, particularly in western nations who’ve never had past experience in this. My feeling as a foreign guest is that Thailand’s response has helped protect me better than my own nation has. I also feel they are protecting you similarly, but if it really is so bad here as you say i’m inclined to ask, why don’t you leave? From what you say Thailand sounds a lot worse than your own country, so why stay here instead of there? Hoping for a genuine reply that will help me understand the truth of this situation, thanks.

          • Avatar

            Alte Ledertasche

            Monday, December 21, 2020 at 4:03 pm

            We have been scheduled to leave Land of Scam end of June this year but their have been no flights available to our next destination. Hence we decided to stay one more year.

            We will now DEFINITELY leave July 2020 or even in April depending on the development of the situation. All our mobile assets in Thailand are sold so we are flexible to leave any time.

          • Avatar


            Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 2:40 am

            In one of your comments right on this article above you say “flights out are available”, and your assets are overseas. But if the truth is there are no flights for you then it appears you need Thailand’s hospitality quite a lot. Again, no govt is perfect and Thailand is no exception. But if you plan to be here so much longer then Thailand’s efforts to contain the pandemic are helping ensure your protection. Berating the govt (and the Thai people) is a weaker position in this instance, somewhat like reacting in anger at someone who outmatches you in a fair-contest sport. Not trying to berate you; just saying that it sure doesn’t help your popularity or inspire support for your position.

          • Avatar

            Alte Ledertasche

            Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 9:07 am

            I am not interested in being popular. Especially not with Thai people or the Thai expat community which I consider being rubbish.
            This not fills my pockets witb cash.

            Regarding Governments be it the Thai or any government on this planet I give a flying Fuck what they are doing. Governments steal from their people and are NOT protecting from anything. I rely on myself not on anybody else.

            Floghts havent been available in June this year, now they are via Dubai. International schools are to date operating in Land of Scam but not in our destination country. I not pay for distance learning. If that should change, means Thailand will go to a lock down we leave, if not we will let our children finish primary school here and than we leave.

          • Avatar


            Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 3:27 am

            If not interested in popularity, then why spend so much time writing on public forums? Again not trying to change your position. But it might be helpful to consider there are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing. Good luck.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 1:06 pm

      Luckily I have this on “cut’n’paste” so it’s easy (if boring) to repeat it:

      Mass testing is a good indicator, but so far no countries have really managed to do “mass testing”, which to be accurate needs to be of all the population and repeated regularly. None have managed anything remotely like that, and even the best have barely managed to test a quarter of the population once.

      There are alternatives that give an equally good if not better picture, but it just doesn’t suit some people’s agendas to accept them as it would make Thailand’s precautions look good and the West’s look bad:

      1. Thailand gives all government hospital inpatients a mandatory Covid-19 test; AFAIK only one has tested positive.

      2. Thailand tests all those applying for a work permit in Thailand; again, AFAIK only one has tested positive.

      3. Wherever there’s a reported outbreak of Covid-19 (in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and as here in Samut Sakhon), tracking and targeted testing takes place; the numbers testing positive are minimal, until this incident.

      4. While mass temperature testing is far from accurate it would show up at least some of the 20% who would be symptomatic if Covid was as widespread here as some imagine; it hasn’t.

      5. If Covid was as widespread as some imagine, and the population as paranoid, there would be queues outside the government hospitals who were symptomatic demanding to be tested; there aren’t.

      • Avatar

        James R

        Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 8:41 pm

        Issan John

        You stick to your nieve beliefs and we in the UK will stick to ours.

        We are testing on demand and en-masse, I can book a drive-in test online or via my iPhone app which will be available in two hours, there are no such mass facilities in Thailand.

        We test on a massive scale we find we have hundreds of thousands of cases and we deal with it, Thailand does not test to any sensible degree and therefore report they have very few cases.

        Unless of course, they have Superman X-ray eyes.

        We have no feeling of ‘looking bad’ as we are dealing with reality, not ‘a head in the sand’ approach.

        I think we are doing the right thing here, you can dream on.

        We will also not be ‘looking bad’ once you and the rest of the world use our ‘Oxford’ vaccine we so ‘badly’ developed.

        But Thailand will have to join the very long queue.

        Nope, sorry you don’t need it as you have almost zero cases in Thaialnd. (Guffaw).

        But don’t get me wrong, I love spending six months a year in Thailand, it is great for holidays as long as I have my base and assets in the UK and not too far from an airport just in case there is another unforseen coup.

  3. Avatar


    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Even with a ‘hope for minimal effect due to most infected being young’, fast and decisive action now is necessary to prevent more extreme measures later. ‘healthy’ asymptomatic infected people can still spread to others of all health levels, and while Sars CoV2 has been determined less lethal than the original Sars virus, it has also been found to be some 20-30 times more contagious, of which inevitable mutation thru worldwide spread leads logically to increases in these figures. We’ll know if it’s already too late in the next weeks if we see excess deaths and large reporting of symptoms on social media. One of the main specialized indicators of covid is loss of smell/taste; this helps differentiate it from other coronavirus outbreaks. From a scientific or public-health standpoint Thailand has had one of the best responses to this of any nation. I keep hope Thailand can pass this latest test. We will see soon enough. Stay strong, smart, and united Thailand.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    I believe it is one big Thai scam. They are not infected but the testers are finding them infected so, some others Thais can make money curing them.
    Do any have second opinions? – I doubt it.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      But Toby, you “believe” you weren’t thrown out of Thailand because you left for Cambodia before your visa ran out after Thailand wouldn’t extend it any more …..

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 4:37 pm

        I left when they started closing the bars, I could see what was coming.
        What was coming was a curfew. A alcohol ban. A ban on walking on the beach. A ban on restaurants. A ban on leaving Phucket. A ban on even leaving the country through the airport. A ban on transit flights through Thailand even though passengers did not leave the aircraft.
        A ban on intelligence in the government.
        And it goes on. A ban on going to work, a ban on going out because they have found persons with no illness and no symptoms, who they say have the virus!
        I wish they would put a ban on idiots in Issan taking rubbish.

        • Avatar

          preesy chepuce

          Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm

          I missed all those bans, I don’t think you’re going to find many developed or semi-developed places in the world where there aren’t going to be pointless lockdowns. One can only hope that it begins to dawn on people that trashing their economies won’t stop this virus, and in the bigger picture, the casualities aren’t as significant as for other things. It’s been looking more and more like media-led mass hysteria for a while, with a surprising lack of questions about the science. I would like to see a lot more scientists and medical researchers interviewed than politicians and popstars interviewed.

  5. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Bad luck – Spotted one week late in an area where 300.000 people are living and beside a major concentration of population! That’s done… uncontrollable… zero chance to do contact tracing on a problem of this scale. Numbers will rise from now on… then a massive lockdown!

    The final blow for the economy… That’s bad luck size XXL triggered by – probably – some loose enforcement of the migrant’s quarantine (if any) working on fishing boats.

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