Crackdown on workers moving between sites

Crackdown on workers moving between sites

Soldiers, police and thessakij inspectors will combine forces to keep an eye on construction camp sites in Bangkok after some workers were relocated despite orders for them to stay put, says the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Soldiers, police and City Hall inspectors will monitor construction sites and dormitories to make sure occupants obey public health orders, said Gen Natthapon Nakpanich, the National Security Council secretary-general who chairs the CCSA's operating centre.

Both Thai and migrant workers at several sites were found to be moving from one camp to another and spreading the virus, he said. The combined forces would help stem the surge in infections in Bangkok.

Gen Natthapon said worker movements need to be more tightly regulated, which requires enlisting the security personnel. Public health authorities also had recommended the movement controls be adopted.

Some firms did not understand the importance of keeping their workers in one place. Construction workers do not stay at one site for long. They move to new projects when there are jobs available.

Bangkok has 409 construction sites, many owned by a few companies which shuffle their workers about, he added. Gen Natthapon said the CCSA would not order the sites to suspend construction, as that could have economic repercussions. The authorities have enforced the law in limiting infections. Regular inspections of markets are conducted while Covid-19 testing of at-risk groups is being stepped up.

Supaporn Srisasanawong, director of Lat Phrao district office, said the latest Covid-19 testing at a construction site run by a building firm on Thursday turned up 33 infected workers. The sick were referred to a local hospital while testing on the rest is being wrapped up.

The site has been closed for 14 days and designated as a bubble-and-seal area where no one can leave or enter without permission. The district office and the company were supplying workers with food and water. There had been no reports of anyone sneaking out of the site, Ms Supaporn said.

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