High risk group poses a serious COVID-19 concern in Samut Sakhon

A senior health official in Samut Sakhon province has expressed serious concern over a high-risk group of about 15,000 people who are still travelling and working as normal and risking transmission of coronavirus to others.

Based on the assumption that there are at least three people in close contact with each of the 5,000 infected people already identified in the coastal province, Dr. Naretrith Katthaseema said that these high risk people pose a real challenge to health officials in their efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

He stressed the need for full cooperation from factories, which hire many migrant workers, agencies supervising industrial standards in factories and the Federation of Thai Industries to make sure that employers strictly observe social distancing among their employees and mandate the wearing of face masks.

He pointed out that the cramped conditions in the migrant workers’ dormitories are ideal environments for the spread of the virus.

Regarded those already infected, Dr. Naretrith noted that severe cases are minimal, with a low rate of mortality, but the virus tends to spread quickly.

He recommended that health officials meet to assess the mass screening program and whether it should be repeated every two weeks, as he thinks it cannot be continued endlessly due to the huge cost, estimated at about 1,600 baht per head, excluding labour costs and equipment.

He suggested that more effective preventive measures must be developed.



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