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Mass screenings of markets in dark red provinces planned, antigen test kits to be used

Jack Arthur

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PHOTO: dronepicr/Flickr

The Ministry of Public Health is seeking the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s approval for a plan to screen up to 200,000 people who reside in and around markets that are in “dark red” provinces. The people will be tested using rapid antigen test kits.

Dr Traisulee Traisoranakul, the Deputy Government Spokesperson, says that the Ministry of Public health is trying to perform mass screenings after they discovered that almost 15,000 people tested positive for Covid between April 1 and April 10. All of the infections were connected to 132 wet markets and flea markets spread throughout 23 provinces that are now considered “dark red” zones.

The MOPH’s plan would consist of mass screenings that concentrate on vendors and their employees who regularly go in and out of these markets. Customers and nearby residents would also be screened.

The testing will be broken up into 3 stages. The first stage will start in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Ratchaburi, Chon Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Songkhla, and Sa Kaeo. This stage will be made up of 24 wet markets and flea markets considered high risk.

Stage 2 will focus on 117 markets throughout 16 dark red provinces. The last stage will zero in on the provinces that are left, says Dr Traisulee. The doctor says the operations will reach 683 markets and more than 200,000 people will need to be tested every week for a month.

Thai PBS says that around 850,000 antigen test kits will be required. The ATKs are anticipated to come from the National Health Security Office. This office is currently trying to obtain 8.5 million ATKs by way of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization.

Dr Traisulee went on to say that there is also a plan to provide vaccinations for people in the previously specified areas. Also, there are plans to open community isolation centres as well as field hospitals for the people who test positive. She concluded her remarks by saying the PM has ordered the police to enforce prohibited activities such as gatherings that include drinking booze and entertainment venue parties.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

 

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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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