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Outbreaks at factories rise, operators ordered to file Covid risk assessment

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A factory inspection in Southern Thailand | Photo via สำนักประชาสัมพันธ์เขต 6 กรมประชาสัมพันธ์

With Covid-19 clusters reported at numerous factories in Thailand infecting thousands, the Industry Ministry is ordering all factory operators to fill out a Covid-19 risk assessment form by the end of the month, warning that operators that do not cooperate may face punishment.

Around 150 factories in more than 20 provinces have reported outbreaks infecting a total of more than 7,000 people. To prevent a negative impact on exports, a sector that’s been keeping Thailand’s economy afloat as pandemic crippled the tourism industry, Thai officials have been working to contain the outbreaks at the factories. A so-called “bubble and seal” method has been used, requiring workers, even those who aren’t infected, to stay onsite for nearly a month to keep the virus from spreading elsewhere and to continue business.

The ministry is calling the operators to fill out forms on the online platforms Thai Stop Covid Plus and Thai Save Thai by June 30. So far, only 20% of the 63,000 factories in Thailand have filled out a risk assessment form, according to the ministry’s permanent secretary Kobchai Sungsitthisawad.

“Factories that do not cooperate with the ministry may face punishment.”

A vaccination drive to inoculate 677,619 workers in the industrial sector be launched on July 1 by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, or IEAT. The authority’s governor says most of the factory employees have been working in strictly controlled surroundings.

“Each vaccination station can provide approximately 8,000 jabs per day, and all the workers should be inoculated by August… Some factories have procured alternative vaccines for their workers, so the authorities will conduct a survey to see how many have yet to be vaccinated.”

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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