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Samut Sakhon intensifies Covid-19 case finding, 35,000 factory workers to be tested

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Thai PBS

More than 35,000 workers at 400 factories in Samut Sakhon will be tested for Covid-19 by January 24 in a mass testing campaign. The province, just southwest of Bangkok, rolled out the proactive case finding campaign after the outbreak at the Central Shrimp Market in the Mahachai area fishing hub last month.

The outbreak affected hundreds of migrants who worked and lived around the market. The “Samut Sakhon cluster” is a prime factor in Thailand’s new wave of Covid-19, spreading to more than 50 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

Now, case finding has “intensified” to test and screen the thousands of mostly Burmese migrants who work at Samut Sakhon factories, according to local public health chief Naretrit Khatthasima. He adds that proactive testing has limited Covid-19 transmissions and has been efficient at containing the outbreak in the area.

With more cases expected to be detected, the province has prepared a fourth field hospital which will open tomorrow. Deputy governor Surasak Pholyangsong says the new field hospital has 350 beds and is intended to accommodate Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms.

SOURCE: 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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