Lack of cooperation and defiant workers stymie Covid-19 control in Bangkok

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Customers return to Bang Kapi market in Bangkok as it reopens on Friday after being closed more than a month ago by an outbreak of Covid-19 disease. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Lack of cooperation and defiant workers stymie Covid-19 control in Bangkok

Lack of cooperation is thwarting efforts to control the increasing number of Covid-19 clusters in Bangkok, a senior government spokeswoman said on Friday.

Apisamai Srirangson, spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said that “bubble and sealed” disease control measures had proved successful within 28 days in handling clusters in Samut Sakhon province, but failed in the capital.

“In Samut Sakhon, we had workers and staff stay within their workplaces, observing the ‘seal’, and within 28 days the outbreaks ended and the people could return home and resume normal life,” she said.

“But in Bangkok, the situation in workers’ camps, markets and factories is completely different. Bangkok cannot end its clusters within 28 days partly due to the factor of cooperation.

“Camps were closed but workers sneaked out to markets and communities, and spread the disease.”

When one workers’ camp was closed, they just moved to other camps. As a result, Covid-19 clusters were increasing in Bangkok, the spokeswoman said.

Dr Apisamai said Bangkok had 25 clusters where new Covid-19 cases had been found for 28 days and more. They were in eight construction camps, six markets, two factories and nine communities.

The capital had 13 other clusters where new infections were persistent for 14-27 days. They included three construction camps, three markets and five factory premises.

On Thursday, Bangkok had eight new Covid-19 clusters. Bang Khunthian district had three new clusters – 49 cases at a petroleum gas cylinder company, 33 at a snack company and 80 at a cosmetics company.

Other new clusters were found at a garment factory in Bang Bon and a plastic packaging company in Bang Khae.

In Klong Sam Wa district, there were two new clusters of 55 cases altogether at two construction camps. Suan Luang district had another cluster of 198 cases at a construction camp.

The capital had altogether 107 clusters of Covid-19 cases, Dr Apisamai said.