New COVID-19 Cluster Linked To Samut Prakan Sites

New COVID-19 Cluster
Vendors and workers in Bangkok’s Bang Kae Market area last week.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) said on Sunday that Samut Prakan has again emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot after a new cluster of infections was detected among the province’s migrant workers.

In total, 584 people were placed under close supervision after 17 migrant workers tested positive for COVID-19, DDC’s director-general, Opas Karnkawinpong, said yesterday.

Authorities said the initial carrier was a 29-year-old worker from Myanmar, who came in for a test on 13th March. After she was found to be infected, the DDC moved to test migrant workers at camps on Soi Sukhumvit 107 and 117 and found 16 more infected workers, two from Myanmar, four Thais and 10 Cambodians.

“Construction sites have multiple risk factors, such as shared facilities and in this case, the workers violated COVID-19 prevention rules by throwing a party,” Dr Karnkawinpong said.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said 45 local infections were recorded in hospitals on Sunday, while 36 were found through mass testing, most of who were from Samut Sakhon, for a total of 81 cases.

At present, the CCSA is focusing its efforts on preventing the outbreak that began in Bang Khae from spreading further, as cases found as far as Songkhla and Si Sa Ket have been linked to the cluster.

A further 16 people were found to be infected with COVID-19 after visiting markets in Bang Khae, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases linked to the cluster to 384.

About 2,600 people deemed at risk in Bang Khae have now been inoculated.

To help bolster the availability of hospital beds in the city, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is going to open a second field hospital near Rajpipattana Hospital in Thawi Wattana district.

BMA’s first field hospital, a 600-bed facility near Bang Khunthian Hospital, opened on 12th January.

Meanwhile, a survey carried out by the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University between 15th-18th March on 1,155 respondents described the impact COVID-19 has on their savings.

About 47% of respondents said their savings had fallen, while 22.5% said they were in deeper credit card debt.

About 42.6% of respondents borrowed from family members, while 33% sought a bank loan and 27.7% borrowed from friends and close associates, the survey, also known as the Suan Dusit Poll, found.