Factories ignoring bubble-and-seal procedures are infection hotspots, warns official
Factories that have been assessed according to the Thai Stop Covid (TSC) online platform are 4.5 times less likely to spark infection clusters, a top official from the Industry Ministry said.
Worawan Chitaroon, the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, said it was imperative that all factories use the TSC platform for self-assessment and follow the prescribed bubble-and-seal procedures to curb the spread of the virus.
So far, 20,032 factories have undergone the TSC assessment, accounting for just 31 per cent of the 64,038 factories nationwide. Of the factories assessed, only 66 per cent or 13,235 factories passed the criteria, Worawan said.
According to data collected between April 1 and August 17 by the ministry’s Crisis Management Centre, there were Covid-19 outbreaks in 749 factories with 53,135 people infected in 62 provinces. Phetchaburi led the list with 4,597 patients, followed by Chachoengsao with 3,648, Saraburi with 3,647, Samut Sakhon with 3,571 and Phetchabun with 3,487 patients.
Factory workers who have been infected usually take around 14 to 28 days to recover, mostly because they are young, in good health and some have been vaccinated.
Of the 749 factories affected, the highest number of infections were in the food industry with 136, followed by 103 in electronics, 65 in metal, 64 in garment factories and 57 in factories dealing with plastics.
An average of 13 factories report clusters daily accounting for more than 800 cases every day – a number that is expected to rise exponentially if serious steps are not taken.