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Samut Sakhon eyes reopening main shrimp market despite spike in new cases


Samut Sakhon is considering reopening its main shrimp market in Muang district despite a spike in new Covid-19 cases in the province on Monday.

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The market had been ordered shut since December 20 after more than 500 confirmed cases were tracked back to it.

“After over a month of shutdown, the province has tested some 1,217 merchants and people residing nearby,” deputy governor Theerapat Katchamat said. “In the latest round, 113 tested positive and were immediately separated and moved to the field hospital for treatment, which means the market and its surrounding areas should now be virus free.”

Samut Sakhon eyes reopening main shrimp market despite spike in new cases

Provincial authorities hope to reopen the market by Wednesday after a major clean-up operation on Monday in a bid to revive the province’s economy, which is mostly reliant on the seafood industry.

“The market will not open until we are sure all preventive measures are in place and merchants and visitors can strictly adhere to them, including social-distancing. The selling areas have also been modified to reduce crowds,” Theerapat said.

“As for fears that the 1,104 people who tested negative could be asymptomatic, it is highly unlikely as they have been quarantined for over a month, which is beyond the virus’ incubation period.”

Samut Sakhon eyes reopening main shrimp market despite spike in new cases

The deputy governor also put the spike in new cases on Monday down to aggressive testing of as many as 10,000 individuals daily, especially in large factories. Monday saw 914 confirmed cases.

“Most of the infected are migrant workers in factories, and we have prepared facilities to quarantine them near their workplaces to limit the chance of the virus spreading to other communities,” said Theerapat.

With the 914 cases on Monday, the total number of new cases in Samut Sakhon has soared to 6,555, 1,218 of whom have been treated and discharged, while two have succumbed to the infection.

Published : January 26, 2021

By : THE NATION