The Samut Sakhon Public Health Department announced the latest update in relation to the Covid-19 situation in the area last night (December 18th) with a total 13 new local cases of Covid-19.
The Pattaya News had previously reported the initial case on December 17th.
The patient, a 67-year-old female shrimp farmer, is currently in a local hospital and has had two positive tests of Covid-19 according to Samut Sakhon health officials. She has only mild symptoms according to hospital officials.
Read more about our previous story HERE.
Twelve more confirmed cases were found in Samut Sakhon according to Public Health officials at last nights press conference.
Eight of the twelve cases were found to be directly related to the shrimp farmer as of press time while another two which were a male shrimp vendor and a clerk are not related to those groups but live and works near the market. Three of the linked cases were family members who lived with the woman. All are asymptomatic.
The remainder of the cases are still being traced by medical staff with the Public Health Department. The cluster was the largest one day rise in Covid-19 cases in terms of domestic, locally spread cases in seven months in Thailand, which has largely remained free of the virus from a locally spread level.
The market where the first patient was detected and the surrounding seafood industry employs thousands of migrant workers from Myanmar. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has stated, although there is no hard evidence at this time, that the infection is believed to have possibly been started by an illegal Myanmar migrant who crept over the border from Myanmar, which is currently having a significant outbreak of Covid-19.
At this time the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has stated that they will not be locking down the province and area as they continue to contact trace and test workers at the markets. However, Dr. Taweesin Visanuytohin of the CCSA cautioned that if the number of cases keeps rising “many options are on the table, from light to strong, depending on the scope of the situation.”
The CCSA has stated they plan to test every single Myanmar migrant that works in and around the market for Covid-19, a massive undertaking. Meanwhile, the Department of Fisheries has released a public statement to ease fears from the public that seafood from the popular area of Samut Sakhon is not at risk of being contaminated by Covid-19 and the public should not be afraid. Some local media has reported a significant business loss for seafood markets in the area following the announcement of Covid-19 cases.
So far, more than 2000 people have been tested in the market area of Samut Sakhon and tied to the seafood industry, with thousands more to be tested this weekend according to the CCSA. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul personally visited the market this weekend to reassure the public that the situation was not dire and that the Ministry of Public Health had the situation under control.
None of the thirteen cases are serious, Anutin added, with nearly all mild or asymptomatic.
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