With the number of Covid-19 infections among migrant workers in Samut Sakhon failing to go down, the PM has instructed officials to make sure companies are not still hiring illegal workers. Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke to deputy governor Surasak Pholyangsong by video conference from Government House yesterday.
The central province of Samut Sakhon is considered the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of Covid-19, following an outbreak at a fish market last month. The resurgence is linked to migrant workers who were smuggled into the Kingdom illegally, bypassing health checks and the mandatory quarantine requirement. Samut Sakhon’s own governor, Veerasak Vijitsaengsri, has tested positive for the virus and remains under hospital care.
According to a Bangkok Post report, the PM has acknowledged the work carried out by provincial officials since then, which includes active tracing and testing, health screening, closing “high-risk” venues and preparing field hospitals for quarantine and treatment. In yesterday’s call, he instructed Surasak to ramp up travel restrictions within the province and implement measures to prevent more illegal migrants from entering.
Although Surasak has announced the re-opening of the seafood market on January 27, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has sounded a note of caution, saying officials must guarantee that the facility is completely Covid-free. He adds that once the situation improves in the 28 “strictly controlled” areas, restrictions can be eased.
The government’s Covid-19 task force continues to monitor the situation in neighbouring countries, noting with concern the escalating cases in places like Malaysia. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration is calling on all Thai citizens living near border areas to be vigilant and check for illegal border crossings. All migrant workers are required to undergo Covid-19 tests and provide details of their travel history.
In other news, the president of the Association of Entertainment Professionals is pleading for government assistance on behalf of entertainment venues and business operators affected by Covid-19 restrictions and closure orders. Khathawut Thongthai has called on Natthaphol Nakpanich, secretary-general of the National Security Council, to provide debt relief and soft loans. He is also requesting permission for venues in provinces that have gone 28 days without a local case to be allowed to re-open and for concerts to be given the go-ahead in these provinces.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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