Cases prompt factory closures

Cases prompt factory closures

KANCHANABURI: More than 140 people tested positive for Covid-19 during mass testing at seven fruit-processing factories in Tha Maka district, prompting a week-long closure.

Active case finding among Thai and Myanmar workers began on Wednesday at Vita Food Factory (1989) Co Ltd and five of its subsidiaries -- Vanda Preserved Food, Vanda Factory, Vanda Frozen, Karn Corn and Thai Kokon Food -- as well as Fruity Dry Co Ltd, large producers of export-oriented processed vegetables and fruits in tambon Saen Tor.

About 3,000 workers were tested, Dr Itthipoll Charas-olarn, director of Makarak Hospital in Tha Maka, said yesterday.

He said tests on Wednesday covered 400 workers, 141 of whom were infected.

Those who tested positive were sent to the hospital's dormitory, which was turned into a 320-bed field hospital, he said, noting most of them were asymptomatic.

The Kanchanaburi governor has ordered the plants to close until Wednesday.

Since April 6, the province has logged 1,685 Covid-19 cases and 19 deaths.

Kanchanaburi is among 11 provinces that recently reported their first Delta strain cases, raising the number of provinces where the variant was detected to 72. The other provinces are Mae Hong Son, Samut Songkhram, Chachoengsao, Trat, Surin, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Phangnga, and Pattani.

About 63% of more than 3,000 cases nationwide analysed by the Department of Medical Sciences are found to be of the Delta strain, first detected in India, while 34% are of the Alpha variant, first discovered in the United Kingdom.

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