Covid outbreak in immigration detention close to 300

The cluster at the Immigration Detention Center (IDC) has reached nearly 300 cases, the government said on Monday.

A total of 297 cases had been confirmed from among 1,888 tests conducted at the IDC’s facilities in Bang Khen and Suan Phlu between March 6 and March 20, said Dr Apisamai Srirangsan, deputy spokeswoman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Most of the detainees who tested positive had illegally entered the country before being detained.

The IDC has stopped taking new detainees, and those who tested positive are being isolated from the general population. A field hospital has also been set up for severe cases, while 70 staff within the two facilities have been vaccinated.

A new round of proactive tests will be conducted within the two weeks to assess the outbreak at the facilities.

Rama 2 and Samut Prakan clusters

Other new clusters in Rama 2 and Samut Prakan have led to 30 and 17 confirmed cases so far.

For the Rama 2 cluster, the first patient is a Myanmar worker who was asymptomatic before testing for the virus while renewing their visa.

Seventy-one people who came into close contact with the patient have been tested between March 19 and 21, which resulted in 30 confirmed cases as of Monday.

For the Samut Prakan cluster, the first patient is a 29-year-old Cambodian woman working as a construction worker in Samut Prakan.  

She was asymptomatic before she tested positive for the coronavirus while renewing her visa in Ayutthaya on March 15.

As she was asymptomatic, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) decided to conduct proactive test at a workers’ camp in Sukhumvit 117.

They have taken 625 samples from the site between March 15 and 19 which resulted in 16 more cases.

Proactive testing is also being conducted at high-risk communities such as migrant workers’ flats and fresh markets around the workers’ camp in Sukhumvit 117, where 400 people have been tested between March 20 and 21 with results still pending.

Daily numbers

Country-wide, the CCSA reported 73 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours on Monday.

Of those, 66 were local infections and seven were found in quarantine facilities.

Of the 66 local infections, 22 were found via tests at medical facilities and 44 via proactive tests at high-risk communities.

This brings the total number of infections since the pandemic began last year to 27,876 cases. While 26,663 people have recovered from the disease, 1,122 patients are still being treated.

There was one new fatality, bringing the death toll up to 91 people.

The deceased patient was a 60-year-old male who was living with diabetes and lung cancer in Bangkok.

Clusters and provinces

The second wave of the outbreak has reached 66 out of the 77 provinces in Thailand so far. Of the 66 provinces, 39 have not reported any case in the past 28 days.

The latest province to report its first case was Yasothon.

The hardest-hit province continues to be Samut Sakhon, which reported 16,994 confirmed cases since December 15.

This was followed by Bangkok (1,497), Pathumthani (754), Chonburi (658), Rayong (584), Samut Prakan (393), Chanthaburi (221), Tak (206), Nonthaburi (192), Nakhon Pathom (155) and Ang Thong (125), respectively.

Of the 66 local infections reported on Monday, 33 were found in Samut Sakhon, 21 in Bangkok, and six each in Pathumthani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Chonburi, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Pathom and Phetchaburi.  

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