The number of people infected after the latest Covid-19 outbreak in Samut Sakhon province has risen to 689.
The Department of Disease Control (DDC) on Sunday assuaged public fears by laying out its plan of action to contain and tackle the spread.
The first patient of this outbreak was a Thai woman who has never gone out of the country, meaning the source of the virus must have come from others, a DDC official said.
As of Sunday evening, 689 patients were found linked to the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon. Most of them were migrant workers in the market. The latest information found nine patients in other provinces — Bangkok (2), Nakhon Pathom (2), Samut Prakan (3), Suphanburi and Ratchaburi one each — Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the DDC, said.
Patients in other provinces were customers of the shrimp market, which provincial health officers are now investigating for close contact.
The outbreak area has been identified in Mahachai subdistrict (532 patients found), followed by Tha chin (7), Nawadee (4), and Bangtorad (1), while there are no patients in other subdistricts.
Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said that the ministry would take around 2-4 weeks to control the situation with an active plan. The provincial government office has ordered a lockdown in the risky areas, not letting people in and out. Food and necessities will be delivered to quarantined people to reduce the risk of the infection spreading, he said.
The first phase tested 10,000 people. If the infected people are found to be highly infectious, the measures for proactive search will be increased to 30,000-40,000 people and cover more areas.
Health officials expect 10-20 more customers of the market to be infected, so they have urged everyone to get the virus test. Many people who have doubts after visiting the risky areas have shown up, which is a good sign for the virus plan, Dr Kiattiphum said.
He has ensured their readiness with 500,000 pills ready to treat 8,000 people, 46 million masks reserved and 4 million pieces can be produced per day, 3 million pieces of N95 masks, 2 million PPE sets.