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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Samut Sakhon governor calls for more vaccine doses after order was cut

Tanutam Thawan



Photo via Facebook/ วีระศักดิ์ วิจิตร์แสงศรี

The pandemic has been rough on the governor of Samut Sakhon, a coastal province just southwest of Bangkok. Along with high numbers of Covid-19 cases and cluster outbreaks during the second and third waves of the virus, Governor Veerasak Vichitsangsri contracted Covid-19 in December and developed a severe lung infection. He spent 42 days on a ventilator.

Now, as the province battles the third wave of the virus, infecting more than 5,000 people in Samut Sakhon since April 1, the latest order for vaccines has been drastically cut, from 300,000 doses to 70,000.

The governor made an appeal to the government, citing that Samut Sakhon is a major industrial hub in Thailand. People are now supporting Veerasak’s call for more vaccines and are sharing the hashtag “Give Back Vaccines to Samut Sakhon People.”

Samut Sakhon was the epicentre of infections during the second wave of infections in December. The outbreak started at a shrimp market in a major fishing hub in the province, affecting a large migrant worker population who lived and worked closely together. Veerasak contracted the virus during that time and was hospitalised for nearly 3 months and on a ventilator for nearly 42 days. At one point, he was not able to speak.

The virus negatively affected the governor’s lung function and led to a bacterial infection that started to destroy some of his lung tissue. Veerasak is also diagnosed with a cerebrovascular disease that affects blood flow to the brain. In earlier reports, doctors said the bacterial infection affected his brain function. The governor told the press after he was released from the hospital that at one point, he thought he would never be able to speak again.

In the recent wave, which was first recorded on April 1 in Bangkok’s nightlife districts, Samut Sakhon is one of the top 10 provinces with the highest infection rates. Infections have spread to crowded areas such as factories, construction sites and prisons. Samut Sakhon has more than 7,000 factories and its high numbers of undocumented migrant workers, some suspected of entering Thailand illegally during the pandemic, have both been seen by officials as an increased risks for outbreaks.

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SOURCES: Thai PBS | Bangkok Post


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