The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has urged factories to adopt stricter measures against Covid-19 amid growing concern over more factory shutdowns and their impact on supply chains and exports.
The worry was raised yesterday by the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) after further cases were found in the manufacturing sector.
Up to 7,100 workers in 132 factories tested positive for Covid-19, according to media reports citing the latest survey from the Industry Ministry. The clusters are in Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Saraburi and Songkhla.
FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said the new wave of the pandemic began to affect production capacity and it is feared it will impact the export sector in the future.
"We are monitoring the situation closely and trying to control infections in factories," said Mr Supant, also a JSCCIB member.
Thai exporters see positive prospects, following global economic recovery driven by the US and China. The two countries, together with European countries, are recovering from the Covid-19 impact after large parts of their populations were vaccinated.
"JSCCIB is concerned the export sector will be the next to stumble as more infections in factories will lead to their temporary shutdown," said Mr Supant.
The FTI chairman stressed the government must expedite vaccinations for people to build herd immunity. This will be an effective way to control the outbreak, he said.
After the first two outbreaks, which erupted last year, the FTI decided to join hands with health officials to have factories assess their food processing standards under "self-declaration" in a bid to allay customers' fear of Covid-19 contamination in food products.
Factories which pass the assessment will be certified by the FTI and health officials who will give them an Industry and Production Hygiene Administration certificate, a so-called "IPHA trademark".
The IPHA project will be expanded to cover other industries, according to the FTI.