UPON seeing the success in Phuket the Public Health Ministry is now going to launch carpet, or saturation, coronavirus tests to find patients in two Bangkok districts – Klong Toey and Bang Khen, Thai News Agency reported this afternoon (16.4.2020).
Dr Anupong Suchariyakul, a senior expert at the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Disease Control, said both types of tests, real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and the rapid variety, will be used in Bangkok after active targeted testing in Phuket had led to the number of cases increasing substantially.
Testing people in Phuket who had close contacts with those already sick or are in high-risk groups through the RT-PCR method led to the number of new cases increasing from 4.5% to 6.24%.
Moreover a comparison of tests held in March to those held so far in April saw the number of infected people within families increasing from 8% to 23%.
For this reason the ministry is going to actively search for patients in Bangkok with initial pilot tests being under taken in Klong Toey and Bang Khen. This action is being undertaken together the Urban Disease Prevention and Control Institute and the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority and these two districts were chosen because they are highly congested zones with entertainment outlets.
Aside from launching these active targeted tests, officials will also be going to communities to search for people who are infected but do not show symptoms by checking their immune level.
An orderly but congested Klong Toey community. Photo: PostToday