UPDATE: Thai PM says lockdown could become unavoidable

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is warning that another lockdown could prove unavoidable, should Covid-19 figures escalate out of control. Today, 427 new Covid-19 cases were reported by the Centre Covid-19 Situation Administration, 397 of which are migrant workers. Yesterday, the CCSA reported 382 new cases, 360 of which are in migrant workers.

Spokesperson Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin says 14 local cases have been confirmed, with the virus having spread beyond the central province of Samut Sakhon. 1 case was confirmed in Ayutthaya, 2 in Nakhon Pathom, 3 in Samut Prakan, 5 in Samut Sakhon, 2 in Bangkok and 1 in the northern province of Tak. All 14 cases can be traced back to the Samut Sakhon fish market where the latest outbreak began.

Health authorities are ramping up the screening of migrant workers in that province and beyond, with the PM calling for everyone to cooperate to contain the spread and avoid another lockdown. He says the situation should become clearer within 7 days, at which point decisions can be made about New Year’s Eve countdown events and the celebration of Children’s Day on January 9. According to the PM, the Public Health Ministry says the situation is still under control.

Taweesilp agrees that it’s too soon to make a call over New Year celebrations, adding that the Health Ministry will submit proposals when it next meets with the PM. He adds that right now, the information gained in the last few days about the Samut Sakhon outbreak is insufficient to predict what might happen over the holiday period.

“It will probably take about 7 days to tell, around December 28, so, it’s very hard to say at this point if celebrations should still be on or not.”

He adds that the number of cases linked to the original Samut Sakhon outbreak is likely to increase, due to Burmese workers sharing accommodation. It’s understood officials are still waiting on the results of around 2,600 tests, with plans to test a further 10,300 migrants connected to the infected workers. Thailand is following Singapore’s example of turning migrant accommodation into quarantine facilities, in an effort to curtail the spread of infection.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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