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Hundreds of Thailand slums at risk of Covid-19 as many can’t afford to quarantine

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis for Unsplash

Following the Covid-19 outbreak at the Khlong Toey slum neighbourhood in Bangkok, there have been more than 1,000 slum communities have been identified as having similar living conditions as the Khlong Toey slum, and are now communities at high risk advised to be under watch to prevent another outbreak.

The Social Development and Human Security Ministry’s Community Organisations Development Institute pinpointed 1,270 slum communities, saying that many are similar to Khlong Toey. Areas of top concern of a potential outbreak include the large community by Khlong Prem Prachakorn with more than 10,000 people as well as a community of around 5,000 to 10,000 people who live by the Yommarat Railway. Other slums of top concern include communities of more than 3,000 people in both the Ratchathewi and Wang Thong Lang districts.

Out of the slums pointed out by the institute, more than 200 residents in the 260 communities have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the institute’s deputy director Panthip Petchmak. 700 more people were ordered to quarantine due to close contact with an infected person.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht.

The institute is now working with community-level organisations to provide food, water, and supplements to those in poor neighbourhoods in an effort to keep people at home, preventing the spread of Covid-19.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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