COVID-19 infections jump to record high with 745 new cases in a single day
Thailand recorded 745 new COVID-19 cases today (Monday), the most in a single day since the virus reached Thailand, with the majority of the new cases being migrant workers. One more fatality was also recorded, raising the death toll to 65.
CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin said 577 new cases are foreign migrant workers, 152 are locally-acquired cases and 16 are arrivals from abroad and in state quarantine, including three each from the UK and Sweden, two from Italy and Turkey and one each from Egypt, India, Switzerland, Japan and Ethiopia.
He attributed the surge of infections among migrant workers to the cramped conditions in their dormitories and pro-active screening by health officials, in cooperation with business operators, adding that more cases are expected before they start to decline as a result of active screening.
The latest fatality was a 56-year old diabetic Thai man with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He was found to have visited high-risk areas in Samut Prakan and Khlong Toey in Bangkok. He was admitted to hospital for treatment on December 28th with a fever, muscle pain and fatigue. He tested positive for COVID-19 on January 1st and was put on a respirator to help his breathing the following day, but he passed away on Sunday.
Cumulative infections in Thailand, to date, are 8,439, with 4,352 recoveries.
In Samut Sakhon province, the first group of around 300 infected Myanmar migrant workers, who are asymptomatic or who display only mild symptoms, were moved out of the central shrimp market and Sri Muang dormitory, which have been used as quarantine facilities, to the provincial sports stadium, which has been turned into a 500 bed field hospital.
The transfer of the infected workers will enable them to be provided with better care and removes them from the cramped conditions in the dorm.
Meanwhile, the Thalay Thai seafood market, also in Samut Sakhon province, reopened for business this morning, after being closed since December 19th, but both the vendors and customers have to comply with strict protocols, which include entry cards issued by the vendors. The market is open from 6am to noon only.
The central shrimp market in Maha Chai sub-district, which is about one kilometre away from the Thalay Thai seafood market and the original source of the COVID-19 outbreak, remains closed until January 31st, along with the Sri Muang dormitory where many Myanmar migrant workers are staying.
In Bangkok’s neighboring Nonthaburi province, one of the 28 Red Zones, the provincial governor has ordered the closure, until January 12th, of all commercial buildings and businesses in the vicinity of the Bang Bua Thong market.