Industrial estates to serve as jab hubs
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Industrial estates to serve as jab hubs

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) will use industrial estates countrywide as vaccination venues as it plans to join hands with the private sector to speed up distributing vaccines to factory workers.

IEAT, which oversees a total of 62 industrial estates housing 5,080 factories, expects the cooperation will increase vaccine rollout efficiency and facilitate IEAT staff and workers in industrial estates.

There are at least over one million workers who want vaccine shots, according to the Federation of Thai Industires.

"Around 500,000 people will pay for vaccines themselves, which should cost 1,000 baht a dose," said IEAT governor Veeris Ammarapala.

Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit recently ordered IEAT to prepare locations in industrial estates as new inoculation venues and adopt strict measures to prevent disease transmissions in factories.

He stressed that the vaccines will be a key factor to drive industrial supply chains as they can boost business confidence.

According to IEAT, the third Covid-19 outbreak, which erupted in April, caused 298 infections in industrial estates. Only 12 of them recovered while 286 are still hospitalised.

Like the private sector, IEAT wants the government to speed up vaccinations, especially for factory workers because they are a key resource in manufacturing factor, which contributes to the economy.

"If the government can quickly give vaccine shots to the workers, they will build herd immunity, which will eventually boost confidence in the industrial sector," said Mr Veeris.

The government set a target to vaccinate 70% of population within this year.

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