32 Thais in South Korea test positive for Covid-19
Thirty-two Thai workers in South Korea have tested positive for Covid-19 as health care workers there await test results of 28 more, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Tanee Sangrat, director-general of the Department of Information and spokesman for the ministry, on Friday said Korean authorities on Thursday confirmed 32 Thai workers tested positive for the virus, and the Royal Thai Embassy in Seoul has been in contact with the patients and is ready to provide assistance.
The first case was a Thai worker who reportedly had been infected while working at a food company. The worker was said to have visited a restaurant popular among Thai migrant workers in Cheonan, a city about 80 kilometres south of the capital Seoul.
As a result of the visit, the first patient came in contact with 90 Thai workers living in the area, according to Mr Tanee.
He said the 90 workers were tested and 31 were infected by the coronavirus, while 31 others were cleared. The rest -- 28 workers -- are waiting for their test results, Mr Tanee said.
He told the media on Friday South Korean authorities provided Covid-19 tests to all Thai workers living in the area. He also urged all Thai workers there, including those undocumented, to get tested for the coronavirus.
Mr Tanee quoted a report by South Korean authorities saying the first case was a Thai male who worked in a food company, who showed symptoms on Wednesday.
The patient's 230 colleagues underwent Covid-19 tests with 104 of them showing no signs of infection, he said, noting the others were waiting for their results.
There are about 1,000 Thai migrants working in Cheonan, and Korean authorities have continuously provided Covid-19 tests to all of them, according to a Facebook named "Thaikuk News" (News about Thais who live in South Korea).
The page -- followed by Thais living in South Korea -- on Friday at 7pm said the number of Covid-19 cases in Cheonan climbed from about 30 to 45.
The count, however, was not officially substantiated by the authority at press time.
The Facebook page also stated that South Korean authorities have provided coronavirus tests to illegal migrant labourers without revealing their status, in a bid to encourage all foreign workers to get tested.
In other news, Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesperson of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said the kingdom's Health Ministry is in touch with the Department of Consular Affairs to provide assistance to all Thai workers.
As of now, embassy officials in Seoul are encouraging Thai workers there to join a Line group with experts from the Health Ministry.