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UPDATE: 1,000+ Samut Sakhon Covid-19 cases

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PHOTO: MGR Online

More than 1,000 Covid-19 cases are linked to the outbreak in Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. 242 cases were reported today, adding to the 821 previously confirmed cases, tallying up to 1,063.

Since the surge of infections over the weekend, hitting a record high in daily cases, health officials have rolled out mass testing in the province and in some neighbouring areas. More than 6,000 have been tested so far and health officials are still waiting on 2,348 test results.

The cluster of infections is around the Central Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon. The vast majority of cases are migrant workers, many who live in crowded rooms with “sub-par” sanitary standards, according to the director of the Institute for Urban Disease Control, Vichan Pawun.

The province has 6,082 factories with 233,071 migrant workers and 122,213 Thai workers, according to Federation of Thai Industries chairperson Supant Mongkolsuthree. The area is a major production base for food processing, textiles, auto parts and rubber products.

Since the outbreak in Samut Sakhon, coronavirus prevention measures focused on migrant workers have been imposed in various provinces. A worker camp in Samut Sakhon was even closed off with barbed wire to prevent migrants from leaving.

Foreign labour employment is regulated through a memorandum of understanding with neighbouring countries Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Supant says the FTI is calling on the government to use these agreements to solve the problem of migrants entering illegally.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | CCSA

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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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