More than half of the 840 Myanmar migrant and Thai workers in three factories in Tak’s Mae Sot district have tested positive for COVID-19 during a massive screening operation carried out Saturday night, says a doctor at Mae Sot Hospital.
A total of 452 workers were confirmed to have COVID-19 while another 25 results remain inconclusive, a resident doctor posted on Moh Mae Sot’s Facebook page.
“The infected patients have been transferred to hospitals and field hospitals for treatment,” the doctor said.
“This all happened overnight, so be warned, please keep wearing a face mask, wash your hands frequently and avoid leaving home as much you can.”
A source confirmed a medical team from Mae Sot Hospital together with a number of local administrative officials had on Saturday night carried out COVID-19 screening tests on 840 workers, mostly Myanmar nationals along with about 100 Thai nationals.
The doctor said that a rising number of migrant workers, whom she referred to as “infected patients fleeing Bangkok”, were arriving in Mae Sot and other districts of Tak.
These workers had sought COVID-19 tests at district hospitals after returning from Bangkok, where construction worker camps are being ordered to shut to contain the virus, and the results had come back positive, said the doctor.
“It’s unbelievable, we [hospitals in the western border areas] always thought we were protecting the inner parts of the country from COVID-19 [by screening migrant workers coming from the neighbouring country].
“Now the situation has turned upside down with these workers coming here from the inner parts of Thailand,” she wrote.
Since 1st April, Tak has recorded 535 new COVID-19 infections; 147 patients are still being treated in hospital and a further seven have died.
Following the surge in new infections, Tak governor Phongrat Phiromrat issued an urgent order to temporarily shut three factories and a key Myanmar community on Soi Mitraphap in Moo 2 village of tambon Mae Tao in Mae Sot until 9th July.
Closed factories may now be converted into a field hospital, he said.