More than half of the 840 Burmese migrants and Thai workers at three factories in the Mae Sot district of Tak tested positive for Covid-19 in a massive screening operation carried out on Saturday evening, a doctor from the Mae Sot hospital.
A total of 452 workers have been confirmed to have Covid-19 while 25 other results remain inconclusive, a resident doctor posted on Moh Mae Sot’s Facebook page.
“The infected patients were transferred to hospitals and field hospitals for treatment,” the doctor said.
“It all happened overnight, so be forewarned, continue to wear a face mask, wash your hands frequently, and avoid leaving the house as much as possible.”
A source confirmed that a medical team from Mae Sot Hospital as well as a number of local administrative officials carried out Covid-19 tests on 840 workers on Saturday evening, mostly Myanmar nationals as well as a hundred Thai nationals.
The doctor said an increasing number of migrant workers, whom she described as “infected patients fleeing Bangkok”, were arriving in Mae Sot and other areas of Tak.
These workers had requested Covid-19 tests at district hospitals after returning from Bangkok, where construction worker camps were ordered to close to contain the virus, and the results came back positive, the doctor said. .
“It’s amazing, we [hospitals in the western border areas] always thought we were protecting the interior of the country from Covid-19 [by screening migrant workers coming from the neighbouring country].
“Now the situation has changed with these workers coming from inside Thailand,” she wrote.
As of April 1, Tak has registered 535 new Covid-19 infections; 147 patients are still being treated in hospital and seven others have died.
Following the rise in the number of new infections, Tak governor Phongrat Phiromrat issued an urgent order to temporarily close three factories and a key Myanmar community in Soi Mitraphap in Moo 2 village of tambon Mae Tao in Mae Sot until July 9.
The closed factories can now be converted into a field hospital, he said.