Migrant workers in Samut Sakhon’s canneries continue to fuel Thailand’s daily increases in coronavirus cases with the country reporting 305 confirmed infections on Thursday, a third of them in the hard-hit industrial province.
The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration also announced another death, an 88-year-old Chanthaburi cancer victim infected by his gambler son who returned home after visiting the infamous Rayong underground casino at the heart of the East’s outbreak. The father died Wednesday, three days after being diagnosed.
Samut Sakhon reported the most new cases, 146, most tied to Thai Union Group-affiliated canneries where more than 900 cases have been confirmed, even though the world’s largest tuna processor claims only 69 workers have been infected. The province reported 37 local infections.
Of the 193 new locally transmitted cases, the highest numbers were found in Bangkok (47), Chonburi (27), Samut Prakan (25), Rayong (23), Chanthaburi (8) and Chanthaburi (8).
Clusters continue to drive the second wave. Besides the Samut Sakhon seafood market and Rayong gambling den clusters, a stream of infections stemign from a cockfighting ring now has spread to five provinces: 50 in Angthong, 15 in Ayutthaya, 13 in Suphan Buri, six in Lopburi and four in Singburi.
CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin said it’s hoped that the lockdown on interprovincial travel from five hard-hit provinces – Samut Sakhon, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat – will greatly reduce national spread of the virus.
Those seeking to leave the affected provinces must produce a travel document signed by a village head, subdistrict chief, district chief or recognized employer justifying the trip as “essential”.
Residents in those areas also must download and use the Mor Chana GPS-enabled contact-tracing app. Steep fines and jail time were threatened for those who test positive for the virus and don’t have the app, but no mention about those too poor to afford a smartphone.
Thailand now has recorded 9,639 cases, 7,551 of which were transmitted locally, including 2,684 migrant workers. Recoveries stand at 4,521 and deaths at 67.