Thailand to test 40,000 amid country’s worst outbreak of Covid-19
Thailand has imposed a lockdown in a province near Bangkok after more than 1,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus following an outbreak, mostly among migrant workers.
The Southeast Asian country had been on the verge of eradicating the virus, but, late last week, a spike in cases emerged in Samut Sakhon province, forcing officials to act rapidly to attempt to contain the outbreak before it could spread throughout the country.
#Thai authorities seal off community of 4,000 migrants from #Myanmar in Samut Sakhon seafood market, identified as hotspot that triggered #Thailand’s new #Covid19 #outbreak. Food and essential supplies are delivered over razor wires. #โควิดสมุทรสาคร #WhatsHappeningInThailand pic.twitter.com/y6iBLltnbw
— Sunai (@sunaibkk) December 21, 2020
Addressing the situation, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha sought to reassure the public by claiming that the virus was under control. However, he was clear that people must adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
We will have to cut the epidemic cycle quickly. We already have experience in handling it.
Most people who have been identified as positive cases by health officials are reportedly asymptomatic, which makes testing and tracing a challenge and forces authorities to conduct mass testing.
Long lines of migrant workers were seen in the region as people waited to have Covid-19 tests. Although, there are concerns that testing sites do not have adequate social distancing measures in place, and living standards in the area are “a disaster waiting to happen,” according to Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson.
Long, cramped lines of #Myanmar migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province, waiting for #Covid_19 tests after outbreak there. Lack of spacing seen here is replicated in poor quality, unsanitary housing these migrants are forced to live in. Disaster waiting to happen in #Thailand. pic.twitter.com/n8KObDKxi5
— Phil Robertson (@Reaproy) December 21, 2020
While most coronavirus restrictions had been lifted in the country, with life returning to normal for residents and strict measures in place for tourists, the situation in Samut Sakhon has forced officials to order a lockdown and tell workers to remain at home.
Since the start of the pandemic, Thailand has only recorded 4,331 cases and 60 deaths from the virus, making the new outbreak a significant blow to the country’s response to coronavirus.
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Source:RT World News