More than 860 new COVID-19 cases have been found at Simummuang Market in Pathum Thani, while Bang Kapi Market in Bangkok was also closed for three days, due to a high COVID-19 infection rate.
Permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, disclosed on Wednesday that no new COVID-19 cases have been found from entertainment venue clusters, but a lot of people still contracted the virus from family members and from visiting crowded markets and public venues.
Dr Wongrajit said from COVID-19 testing at Simummuang Market between 7th May and 15th May, it was found that from 10,480 people who have been tested, 867 people or 8% of the test group were infected.
It was also found that 70% of the infected people are Thai citizens, while 30% are migrant workers.
Officers have ordered closed some sections of the market with high infection rates, and also set up a 400-bed field hospital called “Bun Raksa” at the market to treat infected people. Another 400 beds will be arranged for the field hospital today.
He revealed the cause of the high infection rate was the toll gate at the market’s public toilet.
The toll gate has since been removed and replaced with a hand sanitiser gel booth.
Visitors and market vendors will have to go through strict scanning measures, including registering their entry and exit and checking in on the Thai Chana application.
However, the opening of the field hospital at Simummuang Market has drawn plenty of criticism, with many people calling it an inappropriate environment to treat COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, Veerapat Phanhan, director of Bang Kapi District Office, has issued an announcement about the closure of Bang Kapi Market for virus containment until Saturday.