Dodged quarantine leads to village's lockdown

Dodged quarantine leads to village's lockdown

An aerial view of quarantined Ban Khok Bua in central Buri Ram's Phlapphlachai district, adjoining Surin, on Thursday. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)
An aerial view of quarantined Ban Khok Bua in central Buri Ram's Phlapphlachai district, adjoining Surin, on Thursday. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)

BURI RAM: A village in Phlapphlachai district has been sealed off and a Covid-19 outbreak confirmed after local health workers learned that an old woman had concealed the fact her daughter and son-in-law were visiting from Bangkok.

Lakhana Kaeosorn, a nurse at Khok Khamin sub-district hospital, said a 75-year-old woman in Ban Khok Bua of tambon Khok Khamin had lied to local officials.

She told them her daughter and son-in-law had returned home from Lahan Sai district in southern Buri Ram. So the family had been put in home isolation for only seven days.

In fact, the couple had arrived from Bangkok and the whole family should have been quarantined for 14 days.

After the week-long quarantine, on Aug 8 the elderly woman attended a funeral in her village. There, she chewed and shared betel nut with elderly people and chatted with other mourners.

The woman also visited many houses in the village and nearby, asking for food, the nurse said.

After her son-in-law returned to Bangkok, her daughter complained of chest pains. Local health volunteers then spoke with the mother, who finally admitted to lying about the young couple's arrival from Bangkok.

The old woman and her son tested positive for the virus. Her daughter and son-in-law initially tested negative. However, community testing then found 15 infected people, including the village headman who had organised the funeral and children aged 3-10 years.

The provincial communicable disease committee sealed off the village for 14 days, from Aug 15 to 28. Another 278 people were deemed at risk of having been infected but their initial tests were clean. 

Khok Khamin kamnan Manop Juprakhon said the Buri Ram provincial administration  organisation was looking after the villagers, the children, elderly and bed-ridden patients. Most of the families were poor, he said. 

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