Central ThailandCoronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 outbreak in Phetchaburi factory of 682 employees

PHOTO: Cal-Comp Electronics Phetchaburi has a large Covid-19 cluster. (via Calcomp.co.th)

682 employees in a Cal-Comp Electronics factory in Phetchaburi have been infected with Covid-19, forcing a 14-day closure. The company has 3,300 employees and results are still pending for 2,000 more employees Covid-19 tested in the outbreak. The factory owners intend to take care of all their employees during this voluntary shutdown.

The cluster has widespread repercussions, as the provincial health chief and communicable disease committee have moved to close off two other sub-districts nearby. The Sra Phang and Bang Khem sub-districts in Khao Yoi is the home of many more employees of the Covid-19 infected electronics factory, with foreign migrant workers living in rental homes and dorms in town.

The sub-districts also have many other residents, and those who need to leave the neighbourhoods for work are required to show ID and be recorded upon entering and leaving each day. Public health volunteers are planning visits to the sub-districts and meetings with Thai workers in the area with hopes of educating and advising on proper Covid-19 health and safety precautions. They intend to focus on how to live a somewhat normal life while still taking measures to prevent infection.

The Phetchaburi provincial health chief confirmed that the factory management is working to make sure the quarantined workers are well looked after during the Covid-19 outbreak. They decided voluntarily to shut down for safety, and will pay all their employees normally throughout the 14-day shutdown, including 3,600 migrant workers living onsite and in the neighbouring sub-districts that were also quarantined.

Factory space has been converted into kitchens to provide 3 meals daily to all quarantined employees, and another building on the grounds has been repurposed as a makeshift field hospital.

Factories and construction sites have been a major source of new Covid-19 clusters. In Bangkok’s Laksi district, a construction site was locked down after more than 1,100 infections were found including the first domestic cases of the highly contagious Indian variant. And today in Chon Buri, 86 Covid-19 infections were found in a factory outbreak and 9 infections were found in a migrant worker camp at a construction site.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

4 Comments

  1. “No mass testing going on so it is anyones guess how many cases are out there”

    This and the construction workers are actually perfect examples of why the experts see “mass testing” as an expensive waste of time that indicates very little.

    The cases are nearly all asymptomatic, at worst with mild symptoms, predominantly young, fit and healthy, largely foreign migrant workers – and, most importantly, the poorly paid who would avoid “mass testing” for fear of going without pay and / or losing their jobs.

    “Mass testing” is unlikely to have found many of these cases as most, if any, would never have volunteered to be tested.

    Mandatory targeted testing, however, targets and tests across the board which is why it works and so many have been found in these two locations – what’s needed now is more targeted testing, not more mass testing of those who don’t mind risking losing their jobs who are wasting limited resources.

  2. It is everywhere, make no mistake about it. Targeted testing would give a better indication of the numbers infected. The vaccinations need to be quickly sent out and the procurement of further vaccines to get everyone vaccinated refs to happen quickly, however, will not hold my breath.

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