Bangkok | The surge of the coronavirus epidemic in Thailand’s largest seafood market topped 1,000 cases on Tuesday, and authorities are considering the establishment of wide containment to try to contain the sudden outbreak.
The kingdom has been on the brink since the weekend following a positive test Thursday by a 67-year-old shrimp seller in the Mahachai market in Samut Sakhon province, southwest of Bangkok.
As of early Tuesday morning, 1,063 positive cases were confirmed out of 6,156 people tested – a figure that is causing turmoil in a country that previously had only had 4,300 cases since early 2020.
Most of those infected are Burmese who came to Thailand to work in the booming seafood industry. Authorities ordered Burmese workers to remain confined to their homes around the market.
Samut Sakhon Governor Veerasak Vijitsaengsri said the market-related infection rate was now around 27.91%, down from 40% in previous days. “We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he told reporters.
Migrant Workers’ Rights Network coordinator Suthasinee Bik said the Burmese workers, placed in quarantine, were feeling anxious and stressed.
The authorities “want those infected to be separated from everyone. It’s a very populated area, ”Suthasinee told AFP.
As of Saturday, the authorities had imposed strict containment and a curfew around the market until January.
According to Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, the government could apply new containment measures and decide that the New Year’s celebrations could be canceled.
“The Prime Minister will monitor the situation for a week. If it becomes more serious, it may be necessary. We have to think of the majority, ”he told reporters.
Thailand shares a porous 2,400 km-long border with Burma, which records more than 1,000 cases of contamination per day. The kingdom totals on Tuesday 5,716 cases declared positive and 60 deaths.