Tests for 35,000 workers in Samut Sakhon

Tests for 35,000 workers in Samut Sakhon

Province's 4th field hospital set to open

Around 2,000 Myanmar migrant workers wait in front of a dormitory in Samut Sakhon last month. Health officials were testing Thai vendors and Myanmar workers linked to a cluster of infections at the Central Shrimp Market. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Around 2,000 Myanmar migrant workers wait in front of a dormitory in Samut Sakhon last month. Health officials were testing Thai vendors and Myanmar workers linked to a cluster of infections at the Central Shrimp Market. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

Health authorities will speed up Covid-19 tests for more than 35,000 workers at 400 factories in Samut Sakhon by Jan 24 while the province is preparing to open its fourth field hospital tomorrow.

Provincial chief public health officer Naretrit Khatthasima said heath officials are intensifying active case search and screening.

The province rolled out a mass Covid-19 testing campaign following the coronavirus outbreak at the Central Shrimp Market in mid-December.

Samut Sakhon is home to a large number of factories and migrant workers, most of whom come from Myanmar.

Dr Naretrit said the province's efforts are being bolstered by medical teams from across the country who have been sent to work there. He thanked them for their contribution.

He said the outbreak in Samut Sakhon has been contained as the result of active case finding and proactive screening in the province.

He said the transmission has been limited as a result of the campaign.

The outbreak in Samut Sakhon has spread to more than 50 provinces across the nation.

Tanarak Plipat, a public health inspector-general, also said in a Facebook post that health surveillance teams and lab workers are ramping up their efforts to contain the outbreak in Samut Sakhon.

Deputy governor Surasak Pholyangsong said the province is scheduled to open its fourth field hospital in tambon Nadee tomorrow.

He said the facility, which is formally known as Samut Sakhon's care centre, has 350 beds to accommodate Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms.

Construction of the facility is about 90% complete and it should receive the first group of patients tomorrow, he said, adding the facility is equipped with a waste management system and will pose no health hazard to the community.

On Sunday, 292 Myanmar migrants left a field hospital set up inside a sports stadium in Samut Sakhon.

They were the first group of migrants to recover from Covid-19 to have left the facility.

The workers were declared free of the infection and discharged from the field hospital.

Meanwhile, Siriraj Hospital Faculty of Medicine dean Prasit Watanapa said on Wednesday Samut Sakhon governor Verasak Vichitsangsri, who is being treated for Covid-19, is almost fully recovered.

The governor's general condition has improved by 90%, Dr Prasit said.

He said the governor's blood tests show a normal reading with kidneys and digestive systems working fine.

He said the governor is expected to be taken off a ventilator today.

However, Dr Prasit said doctors will advise Mr Verasak to rest for at least 14 days after he recovers and if he wants to work, he should do so from home.

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