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No Covid-19 spike in Samut Sakhon, 900 “new” cases is old information – Public Health Ministry

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The 900 “new” Covid-19 cases reported yesterday in Samut Sakhon, which gained national media coverage and sparked panic, is actually old information that has already been included in reports, according to the Public Health Ministry.

The Bangkok Post says figure of 900 new Covid-19 cases in the province is “old” and was “included in a total of new cases of more than 500 in Samut Sakhon province that the Centre for the Covid-19 Situation Administration made public a few days ago.”

The recent cases were said to be linked to a canned tuna factory in the province. The Thailand company, Pattaya Food Group, confirmed yesterday that some of their employees are infected with Covid-19. The ministry confirmed that 914 cases are worked at the factory, which employs 3,000 people, but says the figures are old news. The Pattaya Food factory shut down and has been set up as a field hospital to quarantine the infected workers.

The company produces, manufactures and distributes tuna products under the brand names Nautilus and Nautilus Light. The company is assuring customers that their products are safe and free from Covid-19, adding that the virus cannot survive high temperatures. The Fisheries Department chief also says that the virus cannot be transmitted through cold-blooded marine animals.

Samut Sakhon health officials rolled out mass testing in the province after the outbreak at a shrimp market in the Mahachai fishing hub. The outbreak affected hundreds of migrant workers who worked in around the fishing hub.

In mass testing following the outbreak, the world’s top canned tuna producer Thai Union Group has tested 86% of their employees in Samut Sakhon. Out of the 23,630 people tested, only 69 people were positive for Covid-19.

“Each of our employees in Samut Sakhon will receive a Covid-19 test. This is to ensure the health and safety of our people, regardless of age, sex and nationality, while ensuring the continuity of our operations.”

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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