146 more COVID-19 cases recorded today in Samut Sakhon

An additional 146 COVID-19 cases, 90% of which are migrant workers from Myanmar, were recorded in Thailand’s coastal province of Samut Sakhon today, one of the country’s major seafood centres, , bringing total infections in the province to 694.

Deputy Governor Surasak Pholyoungsong said today that the discovery of a substantial number of new cases has necessitated the stringent monitoring and containment measures in anannouncement issued yesterday by the provincial communicable disease committee.

Twenty-seven business and non-business activities, particularly the central shrimp market and the Sri Muang dormitory, where many Myanmar migrants have been living, have been closed temporarily as part of the lockdown restrictions.

Dr. Kitti Kanphirom, the Zone 5 public health chief, said that health officials will be screening for new infections in other markets, such as Keha Nakee, Krokkrak, the Ban Uah Arthorn housing estate in Tha Chine and the Mahachai Nivet dormitory.

He said that there are about 1,000 hospital beds available to accommodate those in need of treatment and there are sufficient medicines for up to 4 months.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin issued an announcement today forbidding the movement of foreign migrant workers in or out of the areas deemed to be at high risk of infections.

He disclosed that there are about 2.5 million migrant workers from neighboring countries in Thailand, with 275,782 legally registered workers in Samut Sakhon alone, including 243,617 from Myanmar, mostly in the fishing and related industries.

He admitted, however, that there is an unknown number of illegal migrant workers.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has ordered all public transport operators to enforce preventive measures strictly by making sure all passengers wear face masks at all times while travelling and observe social distancing. Operators were told to disinfect their vehicles and to make sanitizer gel available.

The State Railway of Thailand has suspended train services,from Wongwian Yai in Thon Buri to Maha Chai in Samut Sakhon, until January 3rd.

Kanchanaburi Governor Chirakiart Phumisawat has ordered the suspension of bus services from Kanchanaburi to Samut Sakhon until further notice.

In the eastern province of Chon Buri, health and local officials conducted a survey of seafood markets in the province today, to find out how many shops or vendors get seafood from Samut Sakhon.

Vendors have been advised to follow the preventive guidelinesand to watch for any vendors displaying symptoms, such as a fever, coughing, a runny nose, sore throat or anosmia, and to alert health officials.

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