Thailand may introduce additional measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 as more than 1,000 cases linked to a shuttered seafood market in the southwestern province of Samut Sakhon have been reported since last weekend.
In a televised address to the nation today, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha said he would meet the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) ahead of New Year celebrations.
“I will announce additional regulations that may be appropriate for the evolving situation. It is a decision that requires careful thought,” he said.
Over the last 24 hours, Thailand has recorded 427 new COVID-19 cases including 397 migrants workers at the seafood market in Samut Sakhon province where a lockdown and night curfew have been imposed until Jan 3 following a surge in cases.
Besides that, 16 other cases reported today in eight different provinces, including five infections in Bangkok, were also linked to the seafood market. Another 14 imported cases were also reported in the kingdom.
To date, more than 1,000 cases reported have been linked to the seafood market where the index case is believed to be a 67-year-old shrimp seller who tested positive for the deadly virus last week. Most of the patients have been asymptomatic.
Thailand has recorded 5,716 cases of COVID-19 with 60 fatalities.
Prayuth said the recent surge of COVID-19 in Samut Sakhon was primarily due to illegal migrants.
“The networks that bring illegal migrants into the country, they must be prosecuted without any leniency whatsoever, regardless of whether they may be people with official positions or otherwise.
“We must remember that it only takes one or two people to neglect their social responsibility and to act carelessly or selfishly for millions to suffer,” he said.
Prayuth said he will continue to ensure government departments work together, listen to the advice of public health professionals and accelerate the availability of vaccines.
“Now, at this time, while the COVID-19 storm gets worse outside of our country, we must be ever more careful. I ask for your continued cooperation and solidarity in this fight,” he said.
Meanwhile, CCSA spokesman Thaweesilp Wissnuyothin said authorities also urged 1,000 people from at least 22 provinces who visited the seafood market from Dec 1 to 18 to undergo COVID-19 tests.
“Anyone who has been to the market should be tested,” he said.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency