11 July 2024

382 new COVID-19 cases, including 360 Myanmar migrant workers, have been recorded today, raising cumulative infections in the country to more than 5,000, CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin told the media.

Chulalongkorn University’s virologist Dr. Yong Poovorawan, meanwhile, suggested that all foreign migrant workers should be tested, to prevent a repeat of Samut Sakhon infections spreading to other provinces.

In addition to the 360 migrant workers from Myanmar, Dr. Taweesin said the other infections include eight arrivals from the UK, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Kuwait and Sudan, as well as 14 locally acquired infections among Thais, with all of them in state quarantine.

Of the 14 locally acquired cases, 12 are linked to Samut Sakhon’s shrimp market. These include two cases in Nakhon Pathom, three in Samut Prakan, five in Samut Sakhon and two in Bangkok.  The others are one in Ayutthaya, who used to work at a beauty salon in Chiang Mai, and a Myanmar migrant worker at a super market in Tak province.

Cumulative infections in Thailand, to date, are 5,289, with 4,053 recoveries. The death toll remains 60.

Disease Control Department Director-General Opas Karnkawinpong said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Public Health Ministry to draw up guidelines to be used in determining whether individual provinces or the entire country should be locked down.

Noting that the surge of hundreds of new COVID-19 cases in the past few days may cause alarm, Dr. Yong said that what is more important than the figures is to contain the infections to limited areas.

He cited the case of Singapore, where there are more than 60,000 cases, most of them migrant workers living in dormitories. He pointed out that the death toll is only 29, because most of the infected are strong, do not show symptoms and barely need treatment, adding that the Singaporean government has been successful in preventing the migrant workers from spreading the contagion.

Likewise, in Thailand’s case, Dr. Yong said that, since most of the new cases are Myanmar migrant workers living in their communities, it is important to control their movements, to prevent them spreading the disease elsewhere.