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UPDATE: Latest news from the Samut Sakhon Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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UPDATE: Latest news from the Samut Sakhon Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath
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More than 800 Covid-19 cases linked to a seafood market in Samut Sakhon have been reported, and numbers are expected to increase as health officials roll out mass testing on over 10,000 people.

2 more Covid-19 cases were reported in Bangkok today from people who both recently went to the Central Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon, adding to the city’s 2 other previously confirmed local cases. The market in tambon Mahachai of the Muang district is considered a Covid-19 hotspot where hundreds tested positive for the virus. Other cases have been reported in the neighbouring provinces Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi and Samut Prakon.

With a significant number of Burmese migrants at the Samut Sakhon seafood market testing positive for Covid-19, many of the newly-imposed health measures are focused on migrant workers.

All employers in Thailand are being warned by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha not to hire illegal migrant workers. If they do, they could face closure. The prime minister also urged members of the public to alert officials if they encounter illegal migrant workers. Employers across Thailand are asked to screen all migrant workers by checking temperatures and watching out for symptoms.

The Labour Ministry has also issued orders prohibiting migrant workers from leaving areas considered at “high risk” of coronavirus infections. Migrants who travel outside the areas could be charged for violating the Communicable Disease Act and Emergency Decree.

Newly-imposed coronavirus prevention measures province by province:

Bangkok

With the Covid-19 outbreak in the bordering province Samut Sakhon, Bangkok officials have announced 10 measures to control the spread of the coronavirus. Governor Asawin Kwanmuang also advises the public to continue wearing a mask and to use the Thai Chana application to track their location.

  1. New Years gatherings are cancelled. If an event has already been planned, organisers must get permission and submit a disease control plan to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s health department.
  2. Entertainment venues, bars, restaurants, hotels and shopping malls are ordered to “strictly” screen customers and abide by coronavirus prevention measures like wearing a mask and social distancing.
  3. Parks are still open, but gatherings are not allowed.
  4. Schools bordering Samut Sakhon are closed until January 4. Classes will be held online.
  5. Government and city officials who commute from Samut Sakhon will work from home.
  6. Temples and other religious venues in the city are asked not to hold gatherings until the situation has resolved.
  7. Screening checkpoints are set up on a few roads in Bangkok to monitor for migrant workers entering the city.
  8. Each of the 472 fresh markets in Bangkok will be checked for Covid-19. Health officials will focus on delivery personnel and those handling the seafood from Samut Sakhon.
  9. Migrant workers at construction sites will be screened for the virus.
  10. Schools will help identify students’ parents who are migrant workers. The migrant parents will then be tested for the coronavirus.

Surat Thani

All travellers arriving to Koh Samui by ferry will be subject to strict Covid-19 screening process, governor Wichawut Jinto says. Migrant workers are banned from moving in or out of the province. Wichawut says the employers have been told to screen the migrant workers for the coronavirus.

“Since a vaccine against Covid-19 is not yet available, the best method of protection is for all to wear face masks. For now, nothing is better than self-protection.”

Chiang Mai

A 3-day lockdown from today until Wednesday has been issued in 3 tambons in Chiang Mai’s Mae Ai district, which includes part of the Doi Inthanon National Park. The provincial disease control committee issued the order after a Covid-19 patient in Ayutthaya reported that they recently worked in the Mae Ai district, according to governor Charoenrit Sanguansat.

Under the lockdown measures, schools in the 3 tambons are closed for the next 3 days and people are not allowed to leave the area. If travel is essential, a health certificate must be obtained by a local hospital. Checkpoints will be set up to screen travellers.

People in the area who recently travelled from Samut Sakhon must report to health officials.

Phuket

An emergency meeting was held by governor Narong Woonciew yesterday ordering officials to step up Covid-19 protection measures.

“There needs to be more intense surveillance concentration measures of scanning at all three ways onto the island – by air, land and at the ports – with proactive scanning of migrant workers in the area.”

Vice governor Vikrom Jakthee is advising business owners who employ migrant workers who recently travelled from Myanmar to notify the Phuket Provincial Health Officer’s Disease Control Division. Seafood operators or other people who recently travelled to Samut Sakhon will be screened for Covid-19, he says.

Pattaya

Pattaya Police step up Covid-19 precautionary checks at entertainment venues in the Pattaya area. There have been no sign of connected cases in the Pattaya or Chonburi area at this time.

Outside of Thailand…

The Cambodian government is asking local authorities to strengthen safety measures along the Thai-Cambodia border. Samut Sakhon is located about 300 kilometres away from Cambodia’s border.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Pattaya News | Nation Thailand| Phuket News

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jason

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    I expected that the reaction from the Thai government would be so. Over reaction is the danger here. A measured response would be better and wiser. “Ring fencing” the outbreak is what is required. Contact tracing is what is required. But when you don’t have a regime of people registering their contact details when they visit businesses, it’s more difficult. So Thailand needs to learn the practices we have devised and adopted here in Australia to make contact tracing possible. Thailand is about to confront what my country has combatted for months now….a genuine outbreak of community transmission. To the people of Thailand….don’t be afraid…be vigilant 🙂

    • Avatar

      Richard

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      The problem here is allowing these foriegn workers and drivers here in the first place.

      • Avatar

        James

        Monday, December 21, 2020 at 7:19 pm

        Rubbish.

      • Avatar

        Maag

        Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:22 pm

        Racist !

    • Avatar

      James

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      Indeed. Thailand can learn from Australia primarily how NOT to handle a media-generated false outbreak.

      • Avatar

        Bill

        Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 10:18 pm

        For every documented (legal) Burmese migrant worker that you find in the Samut Sakhon province, there are probably 2 undocumented (illegal) ones. Good luck with the contact tracing of these “ghost” beings. It’s gonna be one helluva challenge to complete this exercise.

    • Avatar

      OzInThailand

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      LMFAO many times over Jason.

      Try reading the Dalton report. And as for “Contact tracing” get out your whiteboards for “gold standard processes”. Sorry you are an Ignorant insular condescending Aussie preaching absolute back patting dribble so persistent in Australia at the moment.

  2. Avatar

    JKU

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    An hysterical overreaction on ridiculous data points.

    What is the cycle threshold used on their PCR tests? A positive test result alone does NOT equal a “case” NOR an infection nor an infectious person.

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you professor,

      Or rather not.

    • Avatar

      Khao Lak

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 10:15 pm

      sorry – but this is nonsense!

  3. Avatar

    gosport

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Great and swift action from authorities. Good luck for all.

  4. Avatar

    Lobster

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Probably just coincidence but… what is it about seafood markets and pandemics?

    • Avatar

      Charles De Rijcke

      Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 8:49 am

      Yup… smells fishy to me…

  5. Avatar

    Joe

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    I wouldn’t want to be a migrant worker in Thailand. Last year they were scapegoats for rape-murder, now it’s an epidemic. They can’t get a break.

  6. Avatar

    Fred Johnson

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 12:48 am

    Go back to hard lockdown is the way to do it, 2-3 months for sure

    • Avatar

      Dave

      Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 7:10 am

      Thailand, welcome to a multiple contagion in your society of covid (what many countries have already experienced) you will put your hospital infringement to the test, courage

      • Avatar

        J.C.

        Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 7:24 am

        Lay off the drugs and learn to speak English, Dave.

  7. Avatar

    yannick

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 3:37 am

    I don’t understand … everyone (multinationals, markets …) is looking for migrants (read: Myamar, Cambodia …) while millions of Thai are without jobs due to the collapse of the tourist market.
    One should try to explain this to me …

  8. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Fred’s got it right, I think.

    Shut it down. Tight.

    The idea that employers are going “to pay” for bringing in illegal migrant workers is a joke, though. Money talks in this society and employers don’t need to worry about being found guilty of breaking employment law…only the employees are prosecuted.

    If employers are so greedy as to not care about the general health of the nation, I say get them down there on their workers’ lines and put in a day’s work along with their immigrant employees.

    For the sake of all people living within its borders, the government needs to reimpose the original measures…shutdown and curfew. NOW!

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Sumut Sakhon’s Central Prawn Market to reopen at the end of January

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Sumut Sakhon’s Central Prawn Market to reopen at the end of January | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Manager Online

Samut Sakhon Central Shrimp Market, the epicentre of the latest wave of Covid-19, is ready to reopen by the end of January after a big clean up. The reopening is considered “important” to the province’s economy, according to the province’s deputy governor. It will also be a new beginning for the workers, mostly migrant workers, who have been so profoundly affected by the cluster.

The Market has been shut since December 20 after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were detected, following nearly 7 months of single digit daily infection reports.

The Samut Sakhon deputy governor says all infected persons from the market have been sent to the field hospital for treatment and 14 day quarantine and since been released after tests showed they are free of the virus. He added that 1,200 people living near the market will have to undergo another test although previously testing negative.

“This is to make sure that the market is completely free of the virus.”

The market manager also says that he urges vendors to follow the disease preventive measures strictly when the market opens back up again.

Samut Sakhon has 4,921 accumulative cases… 1,045 are Thais and 3,876 are migrant workers, mostly from Myanmar. Some 331 are currently in hospital. 1,332 are in quarantine. 3,257 have either been cured or have tested negative after quarantine. Only 1 death was reported.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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PM vows action against ‘not factual’ information on vaccine plan

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PM vows action against ‘not factual’ information on vaccine plan | The Thaiger

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will order legal action against anyone who “distorts information” about the government’s Covid-19 vaccination plan after the banned opposition politician Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit had raised the topic of “Royal Vaccine: Who Benefits and Who Doesn’t?” on his Facebook Live feed on Monday.

On the Facebook Live, Thanathorn criticised the government’s vaccine procurement and production, commenting that the government is too slow in securing sufficient inoculations.

“Thailand pinned its hopes only on AstraZeneca which allowed local pharmaceutical manufacturer, Siam Bioscience, to produce its vaccine. The government had not held talks with other countries until Jan 3 when it announced it will buy 2 million doses of vaccines from Sinovac which is a very small quantity… enough for only 1.5% of the population.”

Siam Bioscience is a royally-sponsored company that has partnered AstraZeneca to produce the vaccines for Thailand and other countries in the region.

According to Dr Nakorn Premsiri, director of the National Vaccine Institute, Siam Bioscience invited the British-Swedish pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca to visit its plant to see whether it met the criteria required to produce the vaccine at a minimum of 200 million doses per year. The government approved 600 million baht to improve the plant’s facilities to produce the Covid-19 vaccine according to the requirements of AstraZeneca.

Responding to Thanathorn’s comment, the PM says he will order prosecution for anything “that is distorted and not factual” that gets published, whether in media or on social media and that he has to protect the government’s credibility from those who are “irresponsible” with their remarks.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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CCSA Update: 59 new Covid-19 cases and 1 death

Caitlin Ashworth

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CCSA Update: 59 new Covid-19 cases and 1 death | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

The new wave of cases has been on a downward slope in recent weeks. Today’s count of 59 new Covid-19 cases is the lowest daily count since mid-December. A coronavirus-related death was also reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing.

A 48 year old Thai woman died after testing positive for Covid-19. The woman worked as a driver for migrant workers. No other information was released about her in the CCSA’s English-language report. It’s unclear if she had pre-existing conditions.

Out of the 59 new Covid-19 cases, 28 are local transmissions, 23 cases were detected in proactive testing and 8 cases detected in quarantine for those entering Thailand from abroad.

Since the start of the pandemic, Thailand has reported a total of 12,653 Covid-19 cases and 71 deaths. The new wave of Covid-19 cases has spread to 62 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

CCSA Update: 59 new Covid-19 cases and 1 death | News by The Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of January 19, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE:CCSA

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