Careless quarantine cook set off new Covid cluster

Careless quarantine cook set off new Covid cluster

Dr Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, gives an update on the Covid-19 situation, from Government House in Bangkok, on Wednesday. (Screenshot)
Dr Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, gives an update on the Covid-19 situation, from Government House in Bangkok, on Wednesday. (Screenshot)

Failure to follow Covid-19 controls by a cook at an alternative quarantine facility in Bangkok led to a new virus cluster forming in Samut Prakan province, according to health officials.

Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Wednesday that the first case in the new cluster was a 28-year-old woman, a cook in the catering department of a hotel operating as an alternative state quarantine facility in Bangkok. She did not identify the hotel.

The woman tested positive for Covid-19 on March 22.

On March 17 she had lost her senses of smell and taste, and became feverish.

Five people were in high-risk contact with the woman.

A woman colleague, 25, tested positive on March 23. She passed the virus to her 19-month-old son and to a younger sister, who worked on the administrative staff of a school in Samut Prakan.

The cook also gave Covid-19 to her husband, 24, who is a delivery truck driver, and three other women, colleagues aged 30, 35 and 64 years working in the catering and reception sections of the same hotel.

The 64-year-old woman infected another woman, 24, who worked in the catering department of another hotel in Bangkok. This hotel was also not identified.

The infected cook served meals to and collected rubbish from people in quarantine at the hotel she worked in. Sometimes, she did not wear gloves at work, and failed to wash her hands after work.

Most of people in the infected cluster had symptoms of a fever, coughing, runny nose, sore throat and headache. The toddler and the 35-year-old woman were asymptomatic, the spokeswoman said.

According to Facebook page of the Covid-19 Information Centre on Wednesday, nine people had so far been diagnosed as being in the cluster. 

Dr Apisamai said that two days after being infected with the Covid-19 virus a person could start passing it to people close to them, 

Officials were considering giving Covid-19 vaccinations for at-risk people working at quarantine facilities, she said.

Dr Apisamai also said that Covid-19 infection among illegal migrants detained in Bang Khen had spread to three police officers and other workers at the Bang Khen immigration detention facility.

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