Myanmar migrants leave field hospital

Myanmar migrants leave field hospital

Migrant workers get sprayed with disinfectant as they leave the Covid-19 field hospital at Samut Sakhon's provincial stadium, after completing their quarantine period. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Migrant workers get sprayed with disinfectant as they leave the Covid-19 field hospital at Samut Sakhon's provincial stadium, after completing their quarantine period. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

Almost 300 Myanmar migrants left the field hospital in Samut Sakhon on Sunday, becoming the first large group of migrants to have recovered from Covid-19.

A total of 292 Myanmar migrants were declared free of Covid 19 infection and discharged from the hospital which was set up inside a sports stadium.

They waved goodbye to doctors and healthcare workers before being taken in military trucks to the Central Shrimp Market where they live and work.

The market stopped trading when it became a virus transmission hotspot.

The recovered migrants went home with Covid-free certificates issued by the provincial public health office.

They need to submit the paper to immigration authorities.

At the market, they were welcomed back with open arms by fellow migrants. Many had feared for their livelihoods when the outbreak occurred.

Other workers at the market who had tested positive for Covid-19 before have been treated and were also given a clean bill of health, according to Thiraphat Khatchamat, deputy governor of Samut Sakhon.

The shrimp market is expected to reopen at the end of this month, he said.

The market was shut on Dec 19 last year after it was found to be the source of a large cluster of new Covid-19 infections.

As of Sunday, at least 3,441 confirmed Covid-19 cases were connected to the Samut Sakhon cluster, 3,109 of which were people living in the province, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Samut Sakhon chief public health officer Naretrit Khatthasima said the recovered Covid-19 workers now have immunity against Covid-19 and the chance that they will ever get infected again by the same strain is very low.

About 300 more people who have recovered are expected to be discharged from the field hospital today, Dr Naretrit said.

Samut Sakhon's provincial public health office yesterday recorded 80 new Covid-19 cases.

Siriraj Hospital Faculty of Medicine dean Prasit Watanapa said Samut Sakhon governor Verasak Vichitsangsri's condition continued to improve.

He was able to gain greater breathing ability on his own while still being hooked up to a ventilator.

Mr Verasak was confirmed to have contracted the virus on Dec 27, about a week after the province saw a spike in Covid-19 cases, mostly among migrant workers.

Meanwhile, Phetchaburi's health authorities confirmed yesterday three former workers of a tinned fish factory in Samut Sakhon who had recently returned home to Phetchaburi, were confirmed to have been infected.

The infected workers are women aged 41, 43 and 55, authorities said.

The three new cases brought the total number of Covid-19 infections in Phetchaburi to 27.

However, 12 of them have recovered and were discharged from hospital.

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