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Samut Sakhon update: PM urges calm, BMA issues restrictions for Bangkok




The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging Thai people not to panic over the “new wave” of Covid-19 infections that have swept through Samut Sakhon, south west of Bangkok, and to keep themselves informed with updates.

In a Facebook post today, the PM urged people “not to lower their guard and to wear face masks at all times while outdoors, to maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently”. He also asked people to scan the Thai Chana mobile application every time they enter and exit a public venue.

The CCSA yesterday updated the outbreak of cases to 689. More are expected.

The PM says that Thailand has experience in coping with the pandemic, has a strong public health infrastructure and good cooperation from the people. He stressed the need to contain the latest outbreak as quickly as possible,

“Health officials have expanded their search for people infected or suspected to be infected in all provinces with business connections to the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province.”

Late yesterday the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration cancelled New Year countdown events.

“For other events, such as the one planned at Ratchaprasong intersection, City Hall will seek the organiser’s cooperation in cancelling the events but, if they want to go ahead they must submit their safety plans to City Hall for consideration in advance.”

“Restrictions have also been tightened up at entertainment venues, boxing rings and fresh markets.”

“For pubs and bars, each table must be 1.5 metres apart and no dancing is allowed. For boxing rings, a limit on the number offans will be imposed and all must wear face masks in the stadium at all times and keep socially distanced.”

The BMA is today checking all 472 fresh markets around Bangkok.

“All shoppers must scan the Thai Chana application when entering the markets and all migrant workers must wear face masks.”

“All BMA-run schools in Bang Bon, Bang Khun Thian and Nong Khaem districts, which are not far from Samut Sakhon, have been ordered to close until January 4.”

Additionally, several schools in Bangkok have announced closures “for the safety of students”. At this stage, they include…
• Wattana Wittayalai
• Assumption Thon Buri
• Bangkok Christian College
• Suan Kularb College
• Thepsirin School

The BMA also asked yesterday for workers to work from home for the next 14 days although this remains a request at this stage, rather than an order.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry upgraded the number of Covid-19 cases in the provincial cluster, mostly Burmese migrant workers, to 689 cases, all identified through contact tracing. Most worked in and around the provinces coastal fishing markets on the Gulf coast, according to the Department of Disease Control. The numbers are expected to rise over coming days.

Burmese worker camps in the province have now been locked down, including surrounding some with barbed wire to enforce the situation. There is currently a curfew in Samut Sakhon and access in and out of the province is being restricted to essential traffic only (although one Hua Hin resident contacted The Thaiger last night saying that he drove from Hua Hin to Bangkok, through Samut Sakhon, unhindered.)

The Thaiger will monitor and quickly report any changes to the current situation around Bangkok and adjoining provinces.

Samut Sakhon update: PM urges calm, BMA issues restrictions for Bangkok | News by Thaiger


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  1. Avatar


    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

    A 17 fold increase in cases over night makes you wonder how long infections had been flying under the radar in Thailand.

    Also, how many of these people are seriously ill?

    • Avatar


      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      From what we know from other countries data, I’d say probably around two months already.

  2. Avatar

    Pieter Wilhelm

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Without mass testing in Thailand since the pandemic started one could assume herd immunity is already accomplished.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:34 pm


    • Avatar


      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm

      That assumption doesn’t make sense since Sweden hasn’t even reached herd immunity after doing nothing from the start.

  3. Avatar


    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Thailand has been careless by not monitoring the health status of Burmese migrant workers even after the Covid situation got serious in Burma from October on.

    On the other hand, Thailand is now reacting fast and strong and adequate. Most other countries in this world would be happy to have only 500 new cases per day. Thailand will soon be back to five cases per day.

    • Avatar


      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      Agree on both points, and sure hope you are correct. This will be a true test, but if Thailand is genuinely taking the above measures its the best course of action we can hope for. Next days and weeks we will find out for sure. The important thing is a rapid unified informed response and everyone doing their part. Salutes.

  4. Avatar


    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Who will pay for the treatment of the migrant workers at hospitals? Do the people from Myanmar have a 100k USD health insurance like I had to sign up for?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      If they were employed legally in the private sector, as appears to be the case, they’re covered by Thailand’s Social Health Insurance (SHI) scheme, just as Thais would be and just as you would be if you were legally employed here.

      That’s been the case since 1991, along with the CSMBS for public sector employees and their dependents, and since 2001 for the rest of the population under the UCS.

      Contrary to comments all too often made here, they’re excellent schemes that apply to everyone, regardless of nationality, with no “dual pricing”.

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