BANGKOK (THAILAND)- Thailand’s prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has asked citizens to remain calm as he would not be resorting to wider lockdown despite the confirmation of 382 new cases of COVID-19.
Out of the new cases, 360 were migrant workers linked to a seafood centre in Samut Sakhon,near Bangkok, which is now considered the country’s worst outbreak yet. A lockdown has been imposed on the region with thousands of tests being conducted to contain the outbreak.
The PM said the government would scrutinise the situation for a week before taking further action.
“Don’t panic just yet. We strongly hope everything will calm down in seven days,” he told media persons.
“I don’t want to go as far as a lockdown like other countries. This spread is traceable,” he added.
COVID cases connected to the seafood centre climbed to 821, most of those asymptomatic. As many as 40,000 people will be screened in and around Samut Sakhon, health officials have said.
Most of the new infections are migrant workers from neighbouring Myanmar, a major hub of manpower for Thailand’s seafood industry. Myanmar has seen its cases surge to over 116,000 in recent months.
“It’s possible that Myanmar workers were brought in during the epidemic, leading to the outbreak in the Myanmar community in Samut Sakhon,” Wichan Pawan, an official at the Disease Control Department, told a briefing.
On Monday, 14 other cases were reported, all but one in Bangkok or surrounding provinces, while eight infections were imported.
field hospital would be set up to test and treat migrant workers, said Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.