Three tambons in Mae Ai district of Chiang Mai have been put in a three-day lockdown, from Monday to Wednesday, under an order issued by the provincial disease control committee, governor Charoenrit Sanguansat said on Monday.
Mr Sanguansat, the committee chairman, said the isolation was in response to a report that a COVID-19 patient in Ayutthaya had until recently worked in Mae Ai district.
Under the lockdown, people are not allowed to travel out of the area. If travel is essential, they must inform their village Covid-19 monitoring team, which would inform a tambon hospital, which would issue a document certifying their travel.
All public offices are to conduct health screening of customers, as set down by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Checkpoints at the boundaries of the three tambons are screening intending travellers. Schools in the three tambons are closed for three days.
Movement of migrant workers in and out of the three tambons is prohibited. A document from a tambon hospital is needed if travel is essential.
The disease control committee also issued an order requiring people who had arrived from Samut Sakhon recently to report to health officials or face penalties which include a fine and/or jail term.
Medical teams are conducting tests on people deemed at risk in the province for COVID-19 after a woman in Ayutthaya, who had worked as a beautician in Mae Ai district, tested positive for the virus.
Dr Kittiphan Chalom, assistant to the chief of the provincial public health office, said the Ayutthaya woman, 30, worked at a beauty shop in tambon Mae Ai from August – December. While in the district, she had not travelled out of Mae Ai.
The woman returned to Ayutthaya by bus on 16th December. She tested positive for COVID-19 on 19th December without showing symptoms and was admitted to Bang Pa-in Hospital for treatment.
While in Mae Ai, she had close contact with 32 people – 13 deemed at high risk and 19 at low risk. All 32 had been tested; seven were negative and 25 were awaiting results.
On Monday, in a bid to find the source of the infection, medical teams tested 143 other people in Mae Ai district. A further 232 people from groups of migrants deemed high risk at Kham Thiang and Pa Phaeng communities in Muang district of Chiang Mai were also tested.
The test results were yet to come out.
Dr Chalom said medical teams would continue to test more people at random to build confidence among the local people and tourists.