Two new COVID-19 infection clusters reported in Thailand
Thailand’s Disease Control Department has reported two new clusters of COVID-19 infections, one involving 19 big bike enthusiasts, who had gathered for a celebration on Lanta Island in the southern province of Krabi, and the other involving a group of nine gamblers in the eastern province of Rayong.
Dr. Sophon Iamsirithavorn, director of the Communicable Disease Division, said today that the bikers, coming from Samut Sakhon, Phuket, Songkhla and Bangkok, had gathered on Lanta Island on December 11th and 12th.
The first infection among them was a 45-year old from Samut Sakhon. Then more bikers from Krabi, Phuket, Bangkok and Songkhla and their family members were found to be infected.
Disease Control Department Director-General Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong said today that another cluster involves nine gamblers and their family members in Rayong province.
He said that it is unclear whether it was an illegal gambling den, noting that the gamblers were reluctant to tell the officials, making it difficult to trace their contacts for screening, thusincreasing the risk of more infections.
Besides the nine known to be infected, four others are under investigation.
Meanwhile, in Samut Sakhon, the provincial communicable disease committee has decided to use the provincial stadium as a quarantine facility for people under observation.
Troops and police have been deployed to the stadium, as workers clear the land to erect tents. The quarantine facility will also be used for screening migrant workers from Myanmar.
Several residents had expressed concern about their safety, as authorities had been using the central shrimp market and surrounding dormitories as quarantine facilities for asymptomatic cases and workers awaiting screening.
So far, 1,300 migrant workers have been found to be infected,among about 13,000 tested.
In Bangkok, the Nittaya Gai Yang restaurant, in the Samyan Mitrtown mall, was closed for three days on Friday for disinfection after a member of the infected restaurant owner’s family visited the restaurant on December 12th.