Hundreds of factory workers catch virus

Hundreds of factory workers catch virus

KANCHANABURI: A wiring factory in Tha Muang district has been ordered partially closed after more than 600 of its workers were found to be infected with Covid-19.

News of the infections at the SEWT Kanchanaburi Ltd factory sparked alarm among nearby communities in tambon Phang Tru, the chief of Tha Muang district, Tharat Luengsa-ard, said yesterday.

Kanchanaburi governor Jeerakiart Phumsawat, chairman of the provincial communicable disease control committee, has ordered the temporary partial closure of the factory, at least until Covid-19 tests are conducted on all workers, the district chief said. The order took effect on Monday.

The factory manufactures electrical wire harnesses for automobiles and motorcycles.

Last week, the factory hired a private firm to conduct mass testing, Mr Tharat said. Testing with antigen test kits and later RT-PCR tests found that about 600 workers, both Thais and migrant workers, had caught the virus.

Infected Thai workers were being treated at Somdet Phra Sangkharat 19 Hospital and a field hospital at Dan Makham Tia. Some were in self quarantine at home, he said. Migrant workers were restricted to the factory dormitories, which had 1,200 rooms in its compound. There were 120 more rooms available for the migrant workers near the factory.

He said infected migrant workers were under quarantine in their rooms with medical staff from tambon Ban Hua Rai health promotion hospital monitoring their health.

To minimise damage, the panel allowed the factory's production line to continue but the number of workers must be limited, the district chief said. The factory was ordered to separate infected workers from other workers.

The factory was providing the Thai traditional herbal medicine fa talai jone, or green chiretta, to ease symptoms, along with oximeters, thermometers and meals for the infected workers. The governor also instructed the factory to apply strict bubble and seal measures to prevent the spread of the virus to nearby communities.

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