BMA calls for scrapping New Year festivities as Covid-19 cases soar next door

BANGKOK Metropolitan Administration (BMA) asked for the cooperation of all venues in cancelling New Year festivities because of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Samut Sakhon province, which adjoins the capital, with two cases having already emerged here today, Thai Rath newspaper reported late afternoon today (Dec. 20).

This step was taken after the number of Covid-19 cases in Samut Sakhon rose by 146 today, taking the total from yesterday to 694, with 90% of the new cases being foreign workers at the main shrimp market.

The two Bangkok cases are also linked to the Samut Sakhon seafood markets with both being middlewomen who buy products there for sale in the capital. One resides in Prachachuen area and while the other also lives in Bangkok, it was not stated exactly where.

Pol. Capt. Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, BMA’s spokesman, said as coronavirus seems to be spreading to Bangkok officials will now be proactively checking 472 markets, construction sites and restaurants that receive seafood from Samut Sakhon.

Places that could give rise to superspreaders are the following:

– Entertainment venues, pubs and bars. People are urged to not dance, crowd together or come in large numbers. They should sit, eat and listen to music only;

– Boxing stadiums, they will be strictly controlled with everyone having to wear a face mask all the time and social distancing upheld;

– The capital’s 472 markets, this is because the epidemic has spread from foreign workers so it is mandatory for everyone to wear a face mask all the time. Scanning must take place at all entry points and officials will strictly check that this is done with markets violating the rule being immediately closed.

Places where foreign workers usually gather in are the following:

– Parks, these will open normally but gathering together is prohibited;

– Temples, they are being asked to not arrange activities that draw people together; 

– Markets, they will be contacted to bring all foreign workers in for tests.


Top: A composite image shows workers at a market, right, and medical staff testing people for coronavirus. Photo: Thai Rath

TNR staff
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