The lockdown of Samut Sakhon due to a new surge in Covid-19 infections will cause about 1 billion baht a day in economic damage, says Amphai Harnkraiwilai, chairwoman of the Samut Sakhon Chamber of Commerce.
She said the province's seafood industry with sales amounting to 400 to 500 million baht a day, as well as other related businesses, have now been forced to stop as a result of the lockdown.
"This could cause estimated economic damage of about 1 billion baht a day," she said.
However, major damage will be limited only to businesses that employ migrant workers while there will be little impact on businesses that do not hire them, Ms Amphai said.
"Initially, local businesses have agreed to comply with disease control measures fully and screen migrant workers to prevent the spread of the virus to other areas," Ms Amphai said.
"Regarding remedial measures to help other operators who are not in the infection zone and have been affected by the lockdown, the provincial chamber of commerce will raise the issue with the Thai Chamber of Commerce which will then forward the matter to the government," she said.
Commercial and state-run banks announced the closure of their branches in Samut Sakhon in the wake of the lockdown effective from Saturday until Jan 3. Bank branches in shopping malls were also closed.
Amporn Pinasa, secretary-general of the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec), said that she has ordered the closure of schools under the supervision of the Obec in Samut Sakhon and for Obec officials there to work from home.
"The Obec will assess the situation based on the announcements from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). All schools have been instructed to comply with health safety measures from the Public Health Ministry," Ms Amporn said.
Several schools in Bangkok were also closed yesterday out of fears of new Covid-19 cases including an infected woman who lives on Pracha Chuen Road in the capital.
The woman reportedly went to Talad Mahachai in Samut Sakhon to buy seafood early this month.
Bangkok Christian College announced the school's closure from today until Jan 3, while Wattana Wittaya Academy will close from today until Jan 3 and reopen on Jan 4.
Assumption College Thon Buri announced that students and personnel who live in Samut Sakhon are allowed to stay home from today and return to school on Jan 4.
Joseph Upatham School in Nakhon Pathom also announced the suspension of class from today and will reopen on Jan 4.
Meanwhile, the Samut Songkhram governor, with the consent of the provincial chamber of commerce, on Sunday ordered the cancellation of the last day of the Mackerel Eating and Mae Klong Famous Products Festival out of fears of the spread of Covid-19 from neighbouring Samut Sakhon.
The festival was originally scheduled to run from Dec 10 to Sunday.