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Gems market closed down as 52 Africans get Covid

Authorities have ordered the closure of a gems market in Muang district of this eastern province after 52 people there tested positive for Covid-19.

All 52 new patients were African nationals working in the gems trade at the market,Thai media reported. 

Of the 27 cases, 25 were confirmed on Thursday and 27 others on Friday.  

Chanthaburi governor Suthee Thongyaem signed an order on Thursday to close the gems market on Srichan Road in Muang district.

Thai PBS reported that the market, the gems trade hub in this eastern province, has been shuttered for 14 days as part of Covid-19 control measures.

Apirak Pisut-aporn, chief of the Chanthaburi provincial public health office, said the 52 cases represented a sizeable new cluster. 

People deemed at-risk at the market, particularly all African nationals, must take Covid-19 tests and mass testing would be conducted in surrounding communities, said Dr Apirak.

Mr Suthee expressed his concern over the outbreak at the gems market. An intensive public relations campaign has been launched to urge people who may have been exposed — both Thais and foreign nationals — to urgently seek Covid-19 tests.

The governor also ordered the closure of a nearby amulet market.

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Health officials conduct Covid-19 tests among African nationals and Thais at a gems market on Srichan Road in Muang district of Chanthaburi province on Friday. (Photo:@chanthaburihealthoffice Facebook page)

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