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Covid-19:

Started by thaiga, March 24, 2020, 08:38:19 PM

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thaiga

Fish markets mistaken as Covid source 'face Bt1bn hit'
Samut Sakhon's normally busy fish markets paid the penalty on Friday after a prawn-seller in the city tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.

The Talay Thai market and Mae Klong Fish market were deserted by customers even though the infected woman worked at a separate market, Talad Krong, which sells only prawn.

Almost no trade was done at the city's two main fish markets on Friday, after shoppers mistook them for the source of the latest domestic case of Covid-19, said Kamjon Mongkoltrilak, president of the Fisheries Association of Thailand.

"I would like to clarify that the woman infected with Covid-19 owns a prawn shop at a separate location from the fish markets. The woman's shop sold no seafood, only prawn raised in ponds."

He added that Talay Thai market and Mae Klong Fish market were also separate markets, but media had used photos of both in their news coverage of the Covid-19 case. This had confused shoppers and scared them away from both markets, he said.

Mongkol Mongkoltrilak, president of Samut Sakhon Fisheries Association, confirmed that the freshwater prawn shop owned by the infected woman had no link with the two markets at all. He insisted that the two fish markets were still safe.

The misleading news coverage would impact around 100,000 people who work in the two markets and their estimated Bt1 billion annual trade, said Mongkol Sukcharoenkana, former president and adviser of the Fisheries Association of Thailand.

Mongkol added that boat workers stay in Thailand and face strict disease controls including temperature measurement both on and off the fishing boats.

However, undocumented migrant seafood workers have evaded quarantine and are being sought by health officials, he said. He warned of dire consequences of importing Covid-19 from overseas fisheries workers.

nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

First post-lockdown tourists land at Phuket airport
The first international tourists to land at Phuket International Airport since the COVID-19 lockdown began eight months ago, arrived in Phuket today (Dec 18).

Without any fanfare before the historic event, the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department of Thailand (PR Phuket) announced the news with a Facebook post at 5:49pm this evening with the headline "Ministry of Foreign Affairs Facilitates Qatar Airlines to Phuket".

The 30 passengers arrived on Qatar Airways Flight QR 978 direct from Doha, touching down in Phuket at 11:45am today, said the report.

The 30 passengers comprised 25 foreign tourists and five Thai nationals.

The report noted that the passengers arrived on a "regular flight" (scheduled) and that "all passengers entering the province will go through the quarantine process (ALQ)."

"Previously, the Phuket Passport Office under the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has facilitated the easing of visa measures for foreigners who wish to travel to Phuket to help stimulate and revitalise the Thai economy, especially in tourism, which has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis," the report said.

"There will be other commercial airlines flying directly to Phuket in the near future as well," the post concluded.

thephuketnews.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Big jump in Covid-19 cases in Samut Sakhon, but situation 'not worrisome'
More than 2,000 people in Samut Sakhon province who might have been at risk of infection have been tested for Covid-19 and so far 13 people have been found positive, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul said on Friday evening.

The minister visited a prawn market in Samut Sakhon's Mahachai subdistrict to follow up on investigations after a 67-year-old woman, who ran a seafood shop in the market, tested positive for Covid-19 on December 18 after showing symptoms on December 13.

"The Disease Control Department has tested most of the people who work in the market," Anutin said.

"The department will continue testing more people to determine the scope of the virus spreading."

full article nationthailand.com
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thaiga

how the woman was infected remains unclear

Migrants likely spread bug, says Anutin
Migrant workers are suspected of being the source of the spread of Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon, as three close relatives of an infected shrimp wholesaler in the province have also tested positive for the virus.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that officials may have to trace and test up to 10,000 people in the area to find out how the woman contracted the virus.

"The source is likely from migrant workers, according to a report from the Department of Disease Control chief," said the minister.

Mr Anutin also said he has instructed the Department of Disease Control to verify the source of the infection in one week to allay people's fears, adding that he will visit Samut Sakhon to follow up on the case in the next few days.

full article bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand situation, 19 December 2020
- Total confirmed: 4,331 (+34)
- Recovered: 4,024 (+19)
- Active cases: 247
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Samut Sakhon under lockdown after 548 Covid-19 cases found
Samut Sakhon, one of Thailand's biggest fishing towns about 40 kms from Bangkok, has been placed under virtual shutdown starting Saturday night after as many as 548 Myanmar migrant workers were found to be infected with Covid-19.

Samut Sakhon Governor Veerasak Vijitsaengsri said during a hastily-arranged press conference at around 9 pm that drastic measures were extremely necessary to stem the spread of the virus but gave an assurance that the pandemic was being confined only to the migrant workers community.

He described the number of the infected workers discovered so far as "far exceeding our expectation."

He said taking immediate effect until January 3, all schools, shopping malls, beauty parlours, gaming venues, and nurseries will be closed.  Foodshops can open only for takeaways while fresh markets will be permitted to open for only six hours a day.

Short of imposing a curfew, the governor also asked for cooperation from the people to stay indoor between 10 pm 5 am the next day.   All travel for migrant workers in Samut Sakhon is also banned while restrictions will be placed on people leaving and going into the province.

The central shrimp market and the living quarter of the migrant workers which are believed to be the hotspot of the virus have been sealed off.

The discovery of the new infections was related to a shrimp vendor in the province who tested positive for Covid-19 on December 19 after being admitted to Mahachai Hospital.

Speaking at the same press conference, Director General of the Disease Control Department Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong said 90 per cent of the infected patients were asymptomatic.

Governor Veerasak said the local elections for Samut Sakhon scheduled for Sunday will go ahead but urged voters to wear masks and keep social distancing.

thaipbsworld.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Samut Sakhon enters lockdown amid fears of Covid-19 second wave
Residents of Samut Sakhon woke up to a different new day Sunday to find themselves facing what is now seen as a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that has already forced a lockdown of one of the country's biggest fishing towns.

The province, about 40 kms from Bangkok, is the first to revert back to the drastic lockdown measures implemented nation-wide early this year when Thailand was hit by the pandemic after authorities reported Saturday that as many as 548 people, mostly Myanmar migrant workers, were found to be infected with the virus.

Thai PBS news team at the scene reported that barbed wires were set up around the central shrimp market which is now believed to be a new Covid-19 hotspotand has been sealed off by local authorities.

Speaking to Thai PBS this morning, Samut Sakhon Governor Veerasak Vijitsaengsri gave an assurance that the spread of the virus is being confined to the community of migrant workers.   However, he urged all residents of the province to cooperate with authorities to deal with the situation.

"We are now waging a war against the pandemic. Everyone needs to help in the effort," he said.

Samut Sakhon is heavily dependent on migrant workers for its fishing industry.  It's estimated that there are as many as 300,000-400,000 migrant workers in the province and most stay in crowded living quarters. Many are believed to have entered the country illegally from neighbouring Myanmar.

The whole of Samut Sakhon has been placed under a lockdown since Saturday night.  Governor Veerasak said the lockdown will take effect until January 3 during which all festivities, including those planned for the New Year, will be banned.

The lockdown means that all schools, shopping malls, beauty parlours, gaming venues, and nurseries will be closed.  Food–shops can open only for takeaways while fresh markets will be permitted to open for only six hours a day.   Convenience stores will be closed between 10pm-5am.

They are the same measures introduced nation-wide earlier this year by the Prayut government to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak but lifted after authorities were able to have situation under control.

Short of imposing a curfew, the governor has asked for cooperation from the people in the province to stay indoor between 10 pm 5 am the next day.   All travel for migrant workers in Samut Sakhon is also banned while restrictions will be placed on people leaving and going into the province. 

However, Samut Sakhon is still going ahead with the local election to elect members of the provincial administration today.  Governor Veerasak said extra health safety measures are being taken at all polling booths.

The discovery of the new infections was related to a 67-year-old shrimp vendor in the province who tested positive for Covid-19 on December 17 after being admitted to Mahachai Hospital.

Governor Veerasak said Samut Sakhon had been free of the virus for 250 days until the latest outbreak.

Speaking at the same press conference last night, Director General of the Disease Control Department Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong said 90 per cent of the infected patients were asymptomatic.

thaipbsworld.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand situation, 20 December 2020
- Total confirmed: 4,907 (+576)
- Recovered: 4,041 (+17)
- Active cases: 806
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Korat on alert for people from Samut Sakhon
Korat is taking no chances when it comes to a possible spread of the coronavirus outbreak that began in a seafood market in Samut Sakhon to this northeastern province known as the 'gateway to Isan'.

Local officials in all 32 districts of this northeastern province have been ordered to be on the alert for people who are returning from Samut Sakhon -- and those who had visited the coastal province and returned after Dec 1 -- as they are wanted for health screening, governor Wichien Chantaranothai said on Sunday.

Mr Wichien said all those returning from Samut Sakhon are required to report to community leaders so that they can be screened for Covid-19 to prevent the spread of the virus.

People who had travelled to Samut Sakhon and returned to Nakhon Ratchasima after Dec 1 are also wanted for a health examination, he said.

People, cars and vehicles with cargo are now subject to health screenings at checkpoints.

All seafood markets in the province are also to be examined by health officials, Mr Wichien added.

Samut Sakhon has been put under a lockdown with a curfew imposed from 10pm-5am taking effect from Saturday night until Jan 3 in the wake of a new surge of more than 500 Covid-19 cases.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

COVID-19 alert in Bangkok as concerns grow over a second wave of infections
Thailand has recorded 576 new COVID-19 cases, the largest single day surge since the first case was found in Thailand on January 13th. A doctor at Chulalongkorn University is warning that the country may be facing a second wave of infections, which would be more serious than the first if it is not contained in the next 5-8 weeks.

At a news conference this morning (Sunday), CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin dismissed the suggestion of a second wave, maintaining that this is a new outbreak, and urged all people who have visited Samut Sakhon since December 1st to visit their nearest hospital for free tests.

Dr. Thira Worathanarat, of the Faculty of Medicines at Chulalongkorn University, said in his Facebook post today that it is clear that Thailand is facing the second wave and that it will be more serious than the first, with an estimated 940 infections per day in the next 4-8 months if the contagion is not effectively contained.

He suggested that the Public Health Ministry should lead the fight against the virus, instead of the CCSA, and that a nationwide campaign is needed to encourage Thais to wear face masks at all times when outdoors.

Well known virologist Dr. Yong Poovorawan of Chulalongkorn University is recommending that the government suspends all public New Year celebrations, saying "In case of a second wave, everyone must help in the protection effort. Everybody knows social distancing is impossible at celebrations. Can't we wait until next year, when we will have vaccines?  When the majority are vaccinated, normality will return, albeit a bit late, but it is better. A second wave will be difficult to control."

Five new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases were recorded today, after the CCSA's daily briefing on the virus situation. There are two in Nakhon Pathom province and three in Samut Sakhon.

The cases in Nakhon Pathom followed screening yesterday of 158 migrant workers from Myanmar, who have connections with Samut Sakhon, such as those in seafood business or who used public transport between Nakhon Pathom and Samut Sakhon.

The three new cases in Samut Sakhon include two Laotianmigrant workers and one clam vendor in the Pak Nam fresh market.

In a frantic effort to contain the spread of the disease, the Public Health Ministry has widened the screening of people, who havevisited Samut Sakhon since the start of this month, to cover Bangkok, Ratchaburi, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom and Chachoengsao provinces.

Dr. Taweesin said the ministry has set a target of conducting 10,300 tests between now and Wednesday.

He added that the ministry will adopt the Singaporean model, called "loculated area", and apply it to areas in the close vicinity of the shrimp market, such as the Sri Muang hostel, where many migrant workers have been living.

People living in this area are banned from leaving and are being monitored by officials, who will provide them with food, drinking water and other necessities. Those who are found to be infected, but with mild symptoms, will remain there, while those with severe symptoms will be treated in hospital, he added.

All hospitals around Samut Sakhon have been instructed to search for infections and to prepare to cope with a rise ininfections in the provinces.

Several schools in Bangkok have announced closures, for the safety of students. They include:
• Wattana Wittayalai
• Assumption Thon Buri
• Bangkok Christian College
• Suan Kularb College
• Thepsirin School

Cumulative infections in Thailand, to date, are 4,907 with 4,041 recoveries.

thaipbsworld.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Samut Sakhon Covid cases to keep rising
Situation 'back to normal' within 4 weeks
New cases of Covid-19 originating at a fresh seafood market in Samut Sakhon are rising as authorities conduct more tests on migrant workers from Myanmar.

Deputy provincial governor Surasak Polyangsong said on Sunday 146 more workers from the neighbouring country tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Sunday, raising the province's tally to 694.

The figure was considerably higher than the 516 infections in Myanmar workers reported hours earlier by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Kiatiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, expected the caseload to climb in the coming days as results come in from tests being conducted on workers at the Central Shrimp Market in tambon Mahahai of Samut Sakhon's Muang district.

Dr Kiatiphum said authorities are testing 10,000 Myanmar workers and the number will increase to 40,000 in a bid to contain the outbreak within the province.

"We expect many more cases [as a result of the tests]," the top ministry official said.

The market mainly employs workers from Myanmar, with only 10% of the labour force there of Thai nationality, according to the Public Health Ministry.

Keeping virus in check

The Central Shrimp Market is one of the largest wholesale markets in the country, where wholesalers and retailers from other provinces stock up on shrimp.

The first case was a Thai woman who owns a stall at the market. She fell ill on Dec 13 and tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Dec 17.

Dr Kiatiphum said health officials were confident that the new outbreak had originated in the Myanmar community working at the market. The ministry has decided to expand testing to cover as many Myanmar workers in Samut Sakhon as possible, he said.

The lockdown of the market and some other areas in Samut Sakhon are also aimed at containing the outbreak.

Dr Kiatiphum said the ministry expected the situation would return to normal within four weeks, provided that the transmission rate remains under control.

Limited spillover

The virus found at the market has spilled into at least five neighbouring provinces so far.

Opas Kankawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said three patients had been found in Samut Prakan, two each in Bangkok and Nakhon Pathom and one each in Suphan Buri and Ratchaburi.

"All could be traced back to the Central Shrimp Market," Dr Opas said.

Dr Kiatiphum said the ministry was confident that the outbreak in the market would not spread across the country because the Myanmar workers are quite isolated.

"The chance for the virus to spread to Thais is limited because they stay in their community and usually do not travel far from where they live," he said.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Relying on Tourism is now unacceptable for Thailand
Amazing Thailand was the slogan for the Kingdom's visitors industry for many years bringing in $56.2 billion in tourism revenue last year alone. The Thai smile, thai food became the trade for Thailand worldwide.

According to a Thai government Minister's speech, it becomes clear that tourism will never be allowed to recover to previous levels. The writing is definitely on the wall, windows and front door, that there has been a major policy shift in government thinking by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha's cabinet.

In a deeply worrying development for Thailand's massive Travel & Tourism industry, which accounted for 20 percent of GNP and 10 percent of all jobs in Thailand, the deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow said that the country relied too much on tourism and that this was unacceptable.

This must be as worrying for property developers as well as investors. If the 39 million tourists that Thailand received last year in 2019, is never to be repeated, why do we need to continue building and investing in new hotels?

According to Thailand's Nation newspaper, deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow admitted that the Covid-19 outbreak had exposed cracks and faults in the Thai economy.

"The Covid-19 outbreak that hit Thailand since April has exposed the fragility of the economy and shed light on the fact that we rely too much on export and tourism," the Minister said.

This is certainly a departure from what the Minister was saying back in August. The deputy PM, who also holds the Energy portfolio, announced then the formation of a new economic panel, and boasted that the new economic committee will boost tourism and employment. He said the panel agreed to increase subsidies for local tourists and create 1 million jobs in the near future to combat growing unemployment.

Supattanapong Punmeechaow the deputy PM is cleary worried about putting too many eggs in one basket and spreading the risk. However it maybe too early to start walking away from tourism when other industries are simple not ready to take up the slack. Infrastructure improvements; legal reforms, changes in corporate ownership regulations and reduced bureaucracy are just a few of the changes the chambers of commerce have been asking for and must be in place BEFORE we start to cook the goose that lays gold bullion on the floor of the vault in the bank. 

The deputy PM who was speaking last week at the "Restart Thailand 2021" dinner talk held at Siam Paragon shopping complex in Bangkok said,  "The outbreak has had an especially heavy impact on small and medium businesses, prompting the government to spend over Bt 800 billion on SME aid measures including postponing debt repayment worth over Bt 6.8 trillion for 12 million SMEs," he said. "However, from July onwards, economic indicators have been pointing toward an improving trend thanks to cooperation from all parties in outbreak prevention, despite some minor impact from the political situations.

full article newsakmi.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

PM urges Thai people not to panic in wake of new wave of COVID-19 infections
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today called on the Thai people not to be panic over what he described as a new wave of COVID-19 infections and to keep themselves informed with updates from the CCSA and state agencies about the virus situation.

In his Facebook post today, the prime minister urged people not to lower their guard and to wear face masks at all times while outdoors, to maintain social distancing, wash their handsfrequently and, importantly, scan the Thai Chana application every time they enter and exit a public venue.

Stressing the need to contain the latest outbreak as quickly as possible, the prime minister said that Thailand has experience in coping with the pandemic, has a strong public health infrastructure and good cooperation from the people.

He said that health officials have expanded their search for people infected or suspected to be infected in all provinces withbusiness connections to the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province.

He emphasized the need for cooperation from the public, public awareness and the importance of not panicking as the most important defenses against the contagion.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), meanwhile, has announced the cancellation of year end countdown events and chanting of prayers on New Year's Eve organized by the administration, BMA spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang said today.

For other events, such as the one planned at Ratchaprasong intersection, he said the City Hall will seek the organizer's cooperation in cancelling the events but, if they want to go ahead, he said they must submit their safety plans to City Hall for consideration in advance.

The spokesman said that restrictions have also been tightened up at entertainment venues, boxing rings and fresh markets.

For pubs and bars, each table must be 1.5 metres apart and no dancing is allowed.  For boxing rings, a limit on the number offans will be imposed and all must wear face masks in the stadium at all times and keep socially distanced.

Pongsakarn said city officials will check all 472 fresh markets in Bangkok, looking for migrant workers, to assess the risk of infection.  All shoppers must scan the Thai Chana application when entering the markets and all migrant workers must wear face masks.

All BMA-run schools in Bang Bon, Bang Khun Thian and Nong Khaem districts, which are not far from Samut Sakhon, have been ordered to close until January 4th.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, in charge of security affairs, has ordered a crackdown on the human trafficking gangs responsible for smuggling people from Myanmar into Thailand, who are being blamed for the second outbreak of infections.

thaipbsworld.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand situation, 21 December 2020
- Total confirmed: 5,289 (+382)
- Recovered: 4,053 (+12)
- Active cases: 1,176
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Health ministry to prepare lockdown criteria
The Public Health Ministry has been assigned to draw up clear guidelines for locking down more provinces if the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesman, said on Monday the task was given to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-ocha during a meeting at Government House.

National Security Council secretary-general Nattaphon Narkphanit and other senior officials were also present.

Gen Prayut wanted criteria set in place in the event more than one province, or even all provinces, needed to be sealed off.

"That is not happening yet," the CCSA spokesman stressed.

The move reflected growing concern that the outbreak, which started at the Central Shrimp Market in tambon Mahachai of Samut Sakhon's Muang district, could spread through other provinces.

More than 800 new infections have been found in Samut Sakhon. All were linked to the wholesale shrimp market.

The virus has spread to visitors to the market from other provinces, including Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi and Suphan Buri as of Sunday.

There were also some cases which have not been linked to Samut Sakhon. They included a woman travelling from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya.

The communicable disease committees in all provinces, chaired by the governors, have been authoritised to make the decision whether to shut down to contain the virus.

Dr Taweesilp said the prime minister wanted clear guidelines in place, setting out if and when more than one province needed to be sealed off.

"What be the criteria should be," he said. "It should not be decided by one person",    referring to the authority of the governor to make the decision as the committee chairman.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Two more Bangkok cases linked with Samut Sakhon outbreak
Two more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Bangkok, bringing the total number of infections in the capital linked with the outbreak in Samut Sakhon to four.

On Monday, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said one of the new cases is a male resident of Bang Khun Thian district, 43, who worked in the Central Samut Sakhon Shrimp market at the centre of the outbreak. The other lives in Prachachuen, Bang Sue district.

As of Monday, 821 new cases nationwide have been linked to the market in Samut Sakhon's Muang district.

Fifty-one close contacts of the infected Bang Sue resident have tested negative and been quarantined.

Four close contacts of the Bang Khun Thian resident are awaiting results of tests.

The BMA and the Public Health Ministry have deployed 80 teams to test between 5,000 and 8,0000 mainly migrant workers at 56 markets linked with the Samut Sakhon shrimp market over the next seven days.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Monday revealed the following timeline for the Bang Khun Thian case.

December 5-11: Drives from home to work at the shrimp market from 4am-9am, wearing a mask and cleansing hands with alcohol gel regularly.

December 12: After news of outbreak at market, moves to rental house in Bang Khun Thian district, living alone and only going out to buy food to eat in his room.

December 13-17: Drives daily between rental house and shrimp market.

December 18: Takes drive-through test at private hospital and returns to rental house where he self-isolates.

December 19: Receives "positive" test result and travels by taxi to Ramathibodi Hospital for another test. He and the driver wear masks throughout journey. Admitted at Ramathibodi Hospital while awaiting test result.

December 20: Ramathibodi Hospital test result confirms infection.

nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

'Little Myanmar' COVID-19 cluster a 'big lesson' for Thailand
COVID-19 fears are rising in the run-up to New Year following the discovery of infection clusters in Thailand's "Little Myanmar" and concern over possible super-spreaders.

Lab tests have confirmed around 800 infections among migrant workers at a shrimp market and nearby areas in Samut Sakhon province, just an hour's drive from Bangkok.

The seaside province, known as Little Myanmar for its population of foreign workers, was locked down on December 19 as Thai authorities scramble to contain the outbreak. Recent visitors to the market have been asked to come forward for tests, as the outbreak spreads to nearby provinces where confirmed infections have reached double figures.

The "Samut Sakhon [cluster] will be a big lesson for Thailand," said renowned virologist Dr Yong Poovorawan.

Migrants from virus-ravaged Myanmar

When Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi made a state visit to Thailand in 2016, her three-day trip covered Samut Sakhon because of its huge population of Myanmar workers.

This year, the World Health Organisation revealed that about 400,000 Myanmar workers had decided to stay put in Samut Sakhon and keep its seafood industry alive, even though their compatriots left Thailand in droves after COVID-19 struck.

More than half of them had no legal documents, according to the July report. Many of the Burmese workers visited by WHO in Samut Sakhon lived in crowded dorms with no cleaning service and limited access to clean tap water.

Up until mid-December "Little Myanmar" had managed to match the rest of Thailand's efforts to control the virus – but the explosion of infections now threatens a second wave of COVID nationwide.

"Because migrant workers live in crowded spaces, if one of them catches the virus, the disease will spread really fast," Yong commented.

On Sunday, the Samutsakhon Shrimp Trader Club announced the Central Shrimp Market at the centre of the outbreak had been closed until January 3 to prevent further spread of the disease. It also apologised to shrimp farmers and all stakeholders affected.

The Public Health Ministry is conducting a test-and-trace mission in Samut Sakhon's Muang district, where the shrimp market and hundreds of thousands of Myanmar workers are based, in the hope of keeping the outbreak under control.

More than 10,000 people will be tested by Wednesday, according to the ministry.

Damrong Puttarn, a former senator and social activist, says outbreak in Samut Sakhon likely stems from undocumented workers smuggled into the country.

"Many migrant workers have sneaked from Myanmar [where COVID-19 is spreading fast] into Samut Sakhon via natural routes with the help of gangs who charge them Bt10,000 each," Damrong said in a Facebook post.

Warning from Singapore

Thailand is not the first country to ...

full article thaipbsworld.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand situation, 22 December 2020
- Total confirmed: 5716 (+427)
- Recovered: 4,078 (+25)
- Active cases: 1,578
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Taman Tun

It's very chilly in Korat just now which is good for the Corona virus to survive.  Fortunately things are warming up towards the end of the week.

If the old only could, if the young only knew.

thaiga

Top officials from the World Health Organization, including Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, give a press conference on the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Prayut warns of lockdown
Govt will act if Covid spreads out of control
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assigned the Public Health Ministry to prepare for a new Covid-19 lockdown in case the pandemic spirals out of control.

Gen Prayut said on Monday that public health officials were randomly testing migrant workers as far and wide as possible. "Everyone shares the responsibility for this mistake," he said.

He said everyone should cooperate with the government and health authorities in containing the spread of Covid-19 among migrant workers "or else a lockdown will become unavoidable".

The prime minister said he wanted to spend seven days to assess the Covid-19 situation to decide whether the New Year countdown should be held or not, as well as Children's Day.

He asked the public not to panic and hoped the situation would improve after seven days.

He added that the Public Health Ministry had assured him at its morning briefing that the situation was still under control.

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), says the ministry will present its proposals at its next meeting with the premier.

However, Dr Taweesilp said it was still impossible to decide whether New Year celebrations should be called off as part of the effort to contain Covid-19.

Information compiled over the past two to three days about the outbreak in Samut Sakhon still wasn't sufficient to predict the situation during the upcoming holiday season, he said.

"It will probably take about seven days to tell, around Dec 28, so, it's very hard to say at this point if celebrations should still be on or not," he added.

The CCSA recorded 382 new infections on Monday, 360 of whom were migrant workers, as health authorities sped up screening migrant workers in Samut Sakhon potentially linked with the province's central shrimp market, a new virus hotspot.

Fourteen new local transmissions were also recorded on Monday -- one in Ayutthaya, two in Nakhon Pathom, three in Samut Prakan, five in Samut Sakhon, two in Bangkok and one in Tak, said Dr Taweesilp, and all 14 were linked with the shrimp market.

The number of infections linked to the Samut Sakhon outbreak was likely to keep rising, he warned, given the fact that most Myanmar workers lived together in the same apartments. The results of about 2,600 tests are still pending.

Health authorities now aim to test a further 10,300 migrant workers believed to be linked with the infected workers, he said.

The Public Health Ministry has now adopted measures which have proved so successful among migrant workers in Singapore. Apartments where they live are being turned into makeshift quarantine centres. This approach should contain the spread of the virus, said Dr Taweesilp.

In Uttaradit, governor Phon Damtham said on Monday that among the new infections was a 48-year-old vendor who visited Samut Sakhon on Dec 3, 10 and 17 to buy seafood.

The woman heard on Saturday of the outbreak from the owner of a seafood shop in Samut Sakhon whose daughter was infected.

She tested positive the next day after she began to develop a fever, said Mr Phon, and a second test on Monday confirmed she had Covid-19.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand tells market traders to seek tests as coronavirus cases climb
(Reuters) - Thailand reported 427 new coronavirus infections and urged about 1,000 people from a quarter of the country's provinces to seek tests on Tuesday, in a bid to contain its biggest COVID-19 outbreak.

The new cases include 397 migrants in the province of Samut Sakhon, near Bangkok, where an outbreak was discovered at the weekend when hundreds of workers tested positive for COVID-19 at a big seafood centre now under a lockdown.

More than 1,100 cases have been traced back to the now shuttered centre, a commercial area where scores of vendors typically deal in shrimps and other seafood for distribution around the country.

Authorities said buyers from 22 provinces were known to have been there from Dec. 1-18 and should get tested.

"There are about 1,000 people across the country who went to buy goods at the market," Taweesin Wisanuyothin, COVID-19 taskforce spokesman, told a briefing.

"But don't panic. Anybody who went should be tested."

Thailand had until the weekend record about 4,300 coronavirus cases and 60 deaths, among the world's lowest caseloads.

Its containment success has been attributed to its swift contact tracing and strict entry requirements and quarantine, which has decimated its key tourism industry.

In Samut Sakhon, an estimated 4,000 people were in isolation around the seafood market, with volunteers distributing food to those confined to their rooms and an area outside created for medical consultation.

"If they get worse they will be transferred to hospital," said Mana Paothui, a provincial health official.

Varunthorn Mathiprechakul, 22, an owner of shrimp stall, said he was delivering food to 26 isolated employees from Myanmar.

"I'm not sure whether the government provides enough food for them," Varunthorn told Reuters.

"I never thought that this would happen because Thailand has had no new cases for months," he said. "I'm still in shock, I don't know what to do."

Authorities suspect that some workers may have entered the country illegally at a time when infections were surging in Myanmar, where 117,000 cases have been recorded.

There were 16 other cases reported on Tuesday in eight different provinces, including five infections in Bangkok. Fourteen imported cases were also confirmed.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Govt considers implementing new law on communicable diseases in 2021
The government plans to implement a new law on communicable diseases to empower the disease control committee into new issuing measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 next year, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Tuesday.

He said this move was in response to criticism over the use of emergency decree, adding that Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has checked the new act thoroughly.

"We believe that if the situation does not worsen, we will suspend the emergency decree and implement the new act after New Year holidays," he said.

He said it was not necessary to launch additional measures during this time, adding that the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has the situation under control.

He also said that people who have symptoms can take a free Covid-19 test at hospitals. "The ministry will get reimbursement from the National Health Security Office," he added

nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Singapore Model Applied to Deal with Migrants' COVID
(TNA) – Health authorities are applying the Singapore Model to control the novel coronavirus disease among Myanmar workers and the early detection of many infected workers shows a positive sign.

Dr Wichan Pawan, director of the Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention, said the increasing number of new COVID-19 cases among Myanmar workers resulted from proactive tests which reflected efficient control efforts and people should not panic.

He said that the Singapore Model would be applied to curb COVID-19 among Myanmar workers in Samut Sakhon province.

According to him, the model will be adjusted to local contexts. Health workers plan to test 10,300 people linked to a shrimp market and Myanmar workers in Samut Sakhon.

Dr Wichan said Myanmar workers in Samut Sakhon were receiving three meals a day and other services in accordance with international humanitarian principles. A field hospital was set up to provide them with adequate treatments.

Those who are asymptomatic can live a normal life but are confined within their dormitories. Those with mild symptoms are treated at the field hospital and those with severe symptoms are admitted to hospitals, he said.   tna.mcot.net

28 high-risk areas for Covid-19 in 10 provinces
A list of 28 locations are at risk for Covid-19 infection and people who have visited these places have been urged to screen for fever.

Dr Nattapol Pruatphongphan from Bangkok Hospital Phitsanulok has collected information about the ongoing outbreak in various areas.

He warned medical personnel who might have made contact with people from the high-risk areas or people from those locations to be screened for high body temperature. The high-risk places are:

Samut Sakhon: The Central Shrimp Market, Ton Son Mahachai Night Market, Mae Puang Market, Talay Thai Market, Mahachai Villa Flea Market, Krok Krak Market, Kheha Nadi Market, Mahachai Niwet and Baan Ua-athon Tha Chin.

Samut Prakan: Pak Nam Seafood Market and a seafood shop in, Pak Nam sub-district, Muang district.

Nakhon Pathom: Tha Sao Flea Market and Nakhon Chai Si district.

Bangkok: Nuanchan Market in Bueng Kum district and the residential area near Prachachuen Road in Bang Sue district.

Pathum Thani: Wat Sa Bua Flea Market in Thanyaburi district and a flea market in Nong Sua district.

Ayutthaya: Bang Si Thong Village market and a motorcycle taxi stop near Chiang Rak Noi Bridge in Bang Pa-in district.

Saraburi: Jaew Hon Ta pa hot pot restaurant in Nong Khae district and Muang district market.

Suphanburi: Seafood markets in Song Phi Nong and Bang Pla Ma district.

Uttaradit: Three markets (Pa Khanun market, main municipal market, and Tha Sao market in municipal area) in Muang district.

Chiang Mai: A salon in Mae Ai district and a bus Bangkok-Ban Tha Ton.

nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Prawit says nobody to blame for new outbreak  https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30400016
while
Thai PM blames virus surge on illegal migration, hints at new curbs
(Reuters) - Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday blamed a spike in coronavirus cases on illegal migration, after the country's biggest outbreak yet saw more than 1,000 infections, mostly among workers from Myanmar at a seafood market near the capital.

Prayuth said he might this week announce new health regulations ahead of new year celebrations and attributed the latest outbreak in Samut Sakhon province to networks smuggling people into Thailand, which has so far had among the world's lowest coronavirus caseloads.

"This latest flare-up of infections in Samut Sakhon is primarily due to such illegal immigrants and they have brought much grief to the country," he said in a statement, parts of which he read in a televised address.

Prayuth said he would meet his COVID-19 task force this week and discuss "additional regulations that may be appropriate for the evolving situation," without elaborating.

Health officials reported 427 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday and urged about 1,000 people from a quarter of the country's provinces who had visited the seafood centre this month to report to authorities.

"But don't panic. Anybody who went should be tested," taskforce spokesman Taweesin Wisanuyothin said.

The new cases include 16 people in eight different provinces, with five of the infections in Bangkok.
CONTAINMENT SUCCESS

Some 397 cases were migrants mostly from Myanmar, a major source of labour in the seafood industry, adding to an outbreak that emerged at the weekend when hundreds of tests among asymptomatic workers came back positive.

More than 1,100 cases have been traced back to the now shuttered centre, a commercial area where scores of vendors typically deal in shrimps and other seafood for distribution nationwide.

Thailand had until the weekend recorded about 4,300 cases and just 60 deaths, a containment success attributed largely to its swift contact tracing and strict entry requirements and quarantine.

Authorities have suspected some workers may have entered the country illegally as infections soared in neighbouring Myanmar, where about 117,000 cases have been recorded.

At least a dozen infected Thai nationals are also known to have returned from Myanmar in the last month without passing through immigration or undergoing quarantine.

In Samut Sakhon, an estimated 4,000 people were in isolation around the seafood market, with volunteers distributing food to those confined to their rooms.

Varunthorn Mathiprechakul, 22, who owns a shrimp stall, said he wanted to check on his 26 isolated employees from Myanmar.

"I'm not sure whether the government provides enough food for them," Varunthorn told Reuters.

"I never thought that this would happen because Thailand has had no new cases for months," he said.

"I'm still in shock, I don't know what to do."

in.reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Prayut hints at more restrictions after Covid surge
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday urged all Thais to join forces to overcome the latest Covid-19 outbreak, but hinted that further disease controls would be imposed.

Addressing the nation in a televised appearance, the premier said the fresh outbreak in Samut Sakhon had been tackled with stringent measures. The outbreak has so far spawned more than 1,000 cases.

Prayut added that the virus crisis was now growing around the world. This would impact the global economic recovery and, in turn, affect Thailand's economic revival, he said.

The global situation also meant Thailand would have to maintain entry restrictions for foreign travellers, to curb transmission of the disease. Authorities would keep a close watch on airports and other access points including trains, buses, boats and natural border crossings, said the PM.

He added that additional stringent measures might be needed to handle the situation. New Year events may also face extra controls or even cancellation.

He said gangs who trafficked migrant workers must be eradicated, regardless of whether state officials were involved.

The PM said Thailand would be the least affected country in the world if all Thais joined forces to prevent transmission of Covid. He also vowed to do his best to deliver vaccines for all Thais.

nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Two test positive in Kamphaeng Phet after visiting Samut Sakhon
Two people in Kamphaeng Phet province have tested positive for Covid-19 after travelling to Samut Sakhon, a hotspot of current infections, governor Chaowalit Saeng-uthai said on Tuesday.

"One patient is a 43-year-old male, a resident of Khlong Khlung district," he said. "He works as a truck driver delivering seafood between Samut Sakhon markets and Talad Thai and normally has two Myanmar workers on board with him."

Chaowalit said the patient had travelled to Samut Sakhon from December 6 to 19 and was tested on December 21 following Public Health Ministry recommendations.

"The test came back positive on December 22 even though the man did not have any symptoms, so he was placed in isolation at Khlong Khlung Hospital," Chaowalit said.

The other patient is also a 43-year-old male, from Khanuworaluckburi district. He went to Thalay Thai market in Samut Sakhon between December 4 and 18 and was tested on December 21 at Khanuworaluckburi Hospital. He was found positive but showed no symptoms and was placed in isolation at the hospital.

"Officials have traced and tested 17 persons who came into close contact with the two patients, five test results have come back negative while the rest are still awaiting their results," Chaowalit added.

nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

PM thanks the nation for cooperation, says reckless few creates troubles for millions
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha addressed the nation on COVDI-19 situation. He thanked related agencies and the general public for cooperation to managing the latest outbreak of COVID-19 in Samut Sakhon. He reiterated that COVID-19 remains a significant threat to the country.

Prayut said the worsening outbreak in many other countries will definitely have a negative effect on Thailand. The country must be prepared for it. The global economy will take longer time than expecetd to recover and strict measures for the screening of foreign travelers entering Thailand will be essential. Since the global situation is worsening, Thailand has to impose stricter measures.

In the coming days, the government might make further announcements, such as measures related to whether New Year activities will be allowed with strict measures or be banned outright, he said.

Prayut said he understands that businesses need to make money, but everyone can see that relaxing the measures allow COVID-19 to create even bigger economic problems.

He praised the public for their cooperation, unity and responsibilities to society.

Prayut said "We have to remember that a few reckless people, without a sense of responsibility, behave selfishly, and create trouble for millions of people."

He asked the public to live their lives more responsibly than even before, and "please be proud that what everyone has been doing every day,  however minor, affects the whole country. Everyone has a part in putting Thailand in a better position than many other countries."

He assured that the human trafficking networks smuggling illegal immigrants into Thailand to work will be taken care of. They will be charged with crimes, whether it involves government officials or civilians.

Prayut said it will be a long road back to normality, but he said he believes that, if everyone remains cooperative, Thailand will still be one of the countries which is least affected by COVID-19.

thaipbsworld.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand situation, 23 December 2020
- Total confirmed: 5762 (+46)
- Recovered: 4,095 (+17)
- Active cases: 1,607
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Covid-zone workers dumped in Samut Prakan
Fourteen Myanmar workers at a factory in Covid-19-plagued Samut Sakhon province were rushed off the premises and abandoned in neighbouring Samut Prakarn's Bang Phli district on Tuesday night.

Police at Bang Kaew station were informed of their presence about 11pm. They were left with their bags on Soi Green Lake, at the entrance to Green Lake housing estate off Bang Na-Trat Road in tambon Racha Thewa.

Ony six of them had passports.

They told police they had worked at the STI Precision Co plastic-moulding plant in Muang district, Samut Sakhon, for about a month. Personnel staff at the company told them  on Tuesday evening that police were to inspect the plant and they had to leave the premises.

They said 23 workers were to be transported from their workplace to Rayong province.

The dumped employees told police that some workers were dropped off from their vehicle on the way. The remaining 14 were taken to Rayong, where they were to be left in a forest.

They refused to stay there. The driver asked if any of them had a relative or friend who could accommodate them.

They said some relatives and friends worked and lived at a factory on Soi Green Lake in Bang Phli.

However, the factory owner rejected them for fear of breaking the law, and their having come from Samut Sakhon, the epicentre of the latest Covid-19 outbreak. So their driver dumped them at the entrance of the Green Lake housing estate.

The workers told police they had not been tested for Covid-19 and were desperately in need of help.

Local health officials took sample swabs and quarantined them. Police were contacting their employer.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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