100,000 to be tested for Covid-19 infection

100,000 to be tested for Covid-19 infection

HEALTH: A new surveillance programme will test 100,000 people for Covid-19 infection by the end of next month, the Department of Medical Sciences (DMS) says.

The tests will be performed nationwide after a directive from Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, said DMS director-general Opas Kankawinphong.

Dr Opas said the tests will increase health authorities' ability to gauge the pattern of the outbreak.

The programme has been launched in Nakhon Ratchasima, Surat Thani and Pattani. The tests will not take long to conclude as there are laboratories in the provinces to analyse the data.

Since the outbreak early this year, laboratories have worked to produce data related to the infections. Tests were conducted mostly on people prone to the virus including those who came into close contact with the Covid-19 sufferers.

The tests will focus on two high-risk groups: those who work in professions and public areas which expose them to the infection, such as public health workers and drivers of public transport, and people living in crowded communities where social distancing is hard to practise.

Dr Opas said Mr Anutin has suggested the tests be carried out in Samut Sakhon which has large concentrations of migrant workers and prisons.

The provincial communicable diseases office will provide details of the locations.

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