Ice impounded on Covid fear

Ice impounded on Covid fear

Workers line up for Covid-19 tests at an ice plant where many workers tested positive for Covid-19 in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan, on Wednesday. (Photo: Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)
Workers line up for Covid-19 tests at an ice plant where many workers tested positive for Covid-19 in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan, on Wednesday. (Photo: Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)

SAMUT PRAKAN: A new Covid-19 cluster of nearly 100 cases was confirmed at an ice plant in the province east of Bangkok and its products were frozen for checks of possible contamination.

Local health officials confirmed the new cluster at the plant is in Bang Phli district on Wednesday night.

Bang Phli health chief Thongchai Buppha said that the factory in Moo 9 village of tambon Bang Chalong had 190 Thai and foreign employees.

According to him, the first Covid-19 case at the factory had a fever on May 23 and tested positive on May 25. Four of six workers in close contact with him also tested positive. On May 27-28, the management told all workers to seek Covid-19 tests by themselves.

On Saturday, health officials from Bang Phli Hospital and the Bang Phli health office conducted mass testing at the factory. On Tuesday, 81 workers were diagnosed with Covid-19.

The management was instructed to quarantine all workers at their workplace pending their hospital admission. All workers there were considered high-risk.

The admission of infected workers started at Bang Phli Hospital on Wednesday. Since about 90% of them were migrant workers, the investigation proceeded slowly due to language barriers. 

The public health office of Bang Phli district closed the ice factory and impounded its product for examination for possible contamination.

Local authorities will allow the factory to resume operation if it recruits new workers and comply with disease-control measures.

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