New worry over Bangkok pub clusters

New worry over Bangkok pub clusters

Patrons and staff members at seven bars in Bangkok have been advised to contact health officials after 40 new Covid cases were connected to the nightspots. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Patrons and staff members at seven bars in Bangkok have been advised to contact health officials after 40 new Covid cases were connected to the nightspots. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

Patrons of seven Bangkok pubs and bars – mainly in the Ekkamai and Thong Lor areas – have been advised to contact health officials after a coronavirus cluster was reported.

The Disease Control Department said on Sunday 40 people in the seven venues had been infected with Covid-19 since March 25-27.

They included 21 cases found at Krystal in Thong Lor, eight at Beer House in Ekkamai, five altogether at Bla Bla Pub and Dollar Bangkok in Thong Lor, and three altogether at The Cassette Music Bar and Pub Dirty in Ekkamai. Another three were found at Baan Phahol Cafe and Bar in the Chatuchak area.

The department said a number of foreigners were among the new cases found at Beer House.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration urged people who went to any of the venues since March 25 to go to its Covid-19 website to conduct an assessment or call 02-203-2393 and 02-203-2396 for advice. All five nightspots have since been sprayed with disinfectant, it added.

A preliminary investigation has found the cases at the Bangkok entertainment venues were linked to about 40 previous cases found in 10 bars in Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok. They involved pubgoers, musicians and their families.

Department director-general Opas Karnkawinpong said the new cluster might have originated with a Thammasat University student who hung out at two pubs in the Rangsit area of Pathum Thani on March 16 before spreading to other people, including musicians and staff.

"Most pubgoers do not hang out at a single place. That was why the cluster could spread very quickly," Dr Opas said. Musicians and their assistants followed the same pattern, he said, as they often moved from one place to another, sometimes on the same night.

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