1,200 in a Samut Prakan community being tested after 21 found with COVID-19

Health officials in Thailand’s Samut Prakan province are now screening 1,200 people in the Toh Rung market community, after 21 people there were found infected with COVID-19.

Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said on Sunday that the 21 cases were among 281 Thai, Myanmar and Cambodian workers at a factory in Samut Prakan, who were screened after a 19-year old female Myanmar migrant worker had tested positive.

Dr. Opas pointed out that provinces bordering Malaysia are new potential hot spots for illegal border crossings, after the Malaysian government freed all non-Malaysian detainees from lockdown detention centres.

He pleaded with Thais working illegally in Malaysia not to try to sneak across the border, but to return through legal channels, to avoid unwittingly spreading the virus to people in Thailand.

He cited the case of a 31-year old Thai woman, working at an entertainment venue in Malaysia, who developed a sore throat and upset stomach on January 14th.  She snuck across the border, into Sunga-Kolok district of Narathiwat province, with two other Thai women on January 27th.

The three of them then boarded a van, with ten other passengers, to Hat Yai district and left for Bangkok on a Transport Company bus, arriving at Mor Chit bus terminal on the morning of January 28th.  She was admitted to the hospital the following day and tested positive for the virus.


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