Thailand COVID-19 outbreak involving hundreds linked to seafood market

By Zhang Han Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/21 2:39:56

A staff member checks body temperature of a vendor at a food festival in the old town of Phuket, Thailand, Sept. 13, 2020. Photo: Xinhua

Thailand plans to test more than 10,000 people after reporting 516 workers at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon province, not far from the capital, had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Thai authorities announced a plan to test 10,300 people in Samut Sakhon, and the nearby provinces of Samut Songkhram and Nakhon Pathom, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, Reuters quoted local authorities as saying on Sunday. 

While Thailand was among the earliest countries to report COVID-19 patients, it had kept infections under control with only about 5,000 infections. The latest outbreak had rung alarm for local government. On Sunday Thailand reported a record 548 cases in the country. 

The market will be closed until January 3 and Samut Sakhon authorities announced schools, shopping malls and gyms will be closed for 14 days, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

The outbreak at the seafood market in Thailand was the first such case since the virus was reported at a seafood market in Wuhan, Central China Hubei Province. 

Reuters hinted the outbreak may be connected to migrant workers with overseas relations. Most of migrant workers in Samut Sakhon are from Myanmar, which has suffered a far worse outbreak than Thailand, it reported.

Yang Zhanqiu, a Wuhan-based virologist told the Global Times that as epidemiological results have not been released, it is impossible to know the source and transmission channel of the outbreak. 

Contaminated frozen food and a silent human carrier could both be the source of the outbreak at the market, Yang said. 


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