Covid fear in Bangkok shopping areas

Covid fear in Bangkok shopping areas

Testing in nearby communities uncovers more coronavirus infection clusters

Testing in Siam Square found Covid infections in 7.35% of the 734 people screened, CCSA spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangson said at a briefing on Friday at Government House in Bangkok. (Screenshot)
Testing in Siam Square found Covid infections in 7.35% of the 734 people screened, CCSA spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangson said at a briefing on Friday at Government House in Bangkok. (Screenshot)

Authorities are warning people to be on their guard against the possible spread of Covid-19 in Bangkok shopping areas from clusters of infected people in neighbouring communities.

Concerns are rising about some of the 52 Covid clusters in the capital that have emerged near shopping centres frequented by thousands of people daily, said Apisamai Srirangson, spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)

One such example was the outbreak in the Saphan Hua Chang community on Phetchaburi Soi 18 in Ratchathewi district.

Mass testing at the nearby Siam Square shopping area on May 29 found infections in 54 out of 734 people, for a relatively high positive rate of 7.35%, Dr Apisamai said.

The unregistered Saphan Hua Chang community contains a lot of commercial buildings that have been renovated to create rental rooms occupied mainly by migrant workers.

“As a result, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is conducting surveillance measures at shopping centres in the Ratchaprasong and Pratunam areas,” Dr Apisamai said.

Bang Kapi district is another area of concern, she said. The busy residential and commercial area includes the Kheha Klongchan community, The Mall Bangkapi shopping centre, a Makro store, the Nakhon Thai fresh market and Bang Kapi market.

The CCSA had faced criticism earlier for informing the public about a cluster linked to a shopping area in the Lat Phrao area without specifying which one. It later issued a clarification but public concerns persist. 

Ratchathewi and Bang Kapi are among 24 Bangkok districts that have been under maximum surveillance for Covid transmission. The Saphan Hua Chang community is among four clusters in Ratchathewi while another four clusters have been identified in Bang Kapi.

Bangkok reported 824 new Covid cases over the past 24 hours, the highest among all provinces in the national total of 2,631.

Dr Apisamai said the 52 active clusters in Bangkok included two new clusters found over the past 24 hours — a workers’ camp in the compound of the Police Education Bureau in Chatuchak district and the Hua Pa community in Suan Luang district.


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