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Thai Factory Workers Accused of Being a Covid-19 Super Spreaders

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Thai Factory Workers Accused of Being a Covid-19 Super Spreaders

Health officials in central Thailand report a chicken proceeding facility with about 5,000 workers is spreading Covid-19 to other provinces. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the factory employs more than 4,000 Thai workers and more than 1,000 migrant workers.

The spokeswoman said covid-19 infections were confirmed in many departments including a shop, a butchery zone, a raw materials zone and a back office. She did not name the factory, but the Bangkok Post reports a large number of Covid-19 cases have recently been found at a chicken proceeding facility owned by Charoen Pokphand Food Plc in Kaeng Khoi district of Saraburi.

“The disease is expanding throughout the factory,” Dr Apisamai Srirangsan said.

The spokeswoman said that infections among Cambodian workers were 3.9 times higher than among Thai nationals at the plant.

Testing found 275 Cambodian workers had Covid-19, while 1,362 others did not — a rate of 16.8%. Meanwhile, 206 Thai workers had the disease while 4,007 others did not — a rate of 4.9%.

Covid-19 infected workers travelled to other provinces

Cambodian workers lived in the dormitories at their workplace while their Thai colleagues lived at home or in nearby dormitories outside the complex. Those workers commuted using various means of transportation, including private vehicles and company buses.

The workers’ living quarters were crowded, with 3-6 workers in each room. They ate together, shared public space and also travelled to numerous provinces.

Few technicians and skilled workers contracted Covid-19, Dr Apisamai said, because they generally took more precautions. The outbreak of covid-19 in the manufacturing sector is worrying, the spokesperson said.

“The covid-19 virus is spreading at factories and workplaces including plants making coconut milk, ice, sauce, medical equipment and children’s products in several provinces. The disease must be contained and prevented from spreading to communities while their operations must continue to protect the economy and society,” she said.

All large factories must evaluate their own disease control measures for factory workers by June 15. Those with poor disease control would be given directions on transmission prevention, Dr Apisamai said.

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