Mass infections hit Pattani seafood site

Mass infections hit Pattani seafood site

Health authorities in Pattani reported a new infection cluster at a seafood factory in Muang district after 30 workers there were found to be infected with Covid-19.

While Pattani authorities didn't disclose the name of the factory, they insisted that around 300 workers from the plant have been placed under quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading, while those who came into close contact with the infected workers were ordered to undergo Covid-19 testing.

They said despite their best efforts to enforce strict disease control measures in factories, case numbers in the province have continued to increase.

The factory in question has been ordered to close down, and the owner told to convert the factory into a quarantine centre for its workers.

The factory had remained open throughout the pandemic because the province's health authorities thought they had put in place enough strict preventive measures to stop the virus from spreading among workers.

Pattani has reported over one hundred new Covid-19 cases for eight consecutive days since June 22, bringing the total number of infections in the province to 2,103. One death from Covid-19 was reported in the province.

Field hospitals in the province are overwhelmed by the spike in new infections, and several temporary facilities said many of their beds -- which are made out of cardboard -- need to be replaced due to the recent heavy rain.

Meanwhile, Dr Chanetta Hatta of Pattani's provincial hospital posted a message on Facebook pleading for body bags.

She wrote, "If you ask me how it feels to ask for donations of body bags twice on this page, it feels sad. But it's even more sad when there aren't enough bags to use."

Dr Chanetta further explained as the remains of Covid-19 patients must be double wrapped, hospitals go through body bags much faster than usual. Hospitals are working to stock up, but they might not be able to keep up with demand at this rate, she said.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, all schools have been closed until July 13 to curb the latest outbreak of Covid-19, with 10 new clusters reported in the province.

The order was signed by governor Kobchai Boon-orana, as chairman of the provincial communicable disease committee yesterday.

It said schools, kindergartens and tutoring services are closed to on-site learning from June 29 to July 13.

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