Eleven employees at a factory in Hua Hin have tested positive for COVID-19, sparking fears of a fresh cluster of infections in the district.
The employees, who are from Myanmar, work at a pineapple processing factory in Baan Nong Nok Noi, Hin Lek Fai Sub-district and are currently receiving treatment in Hua Hin Hospital, officials announced on Thursday (6 May).
Despite the confirmed cases, the factory will continue to operate, leading to concern among locals in the area. Typically when a COVID-19 case is confirmed, the venue is required to close for up to 14 days.
Local village headman Mr. Panya Kon Yai said that residents in Nong Nok Village are worried about the situation as some of those who tested positive live in the village.
Mr. Panya said the relevant agencies should order the factory cease operations for at least five days.
Mr. Panya also called on public health officials to speed up the detection of infections in high risk areas, such as migrant worker accommodation. He said that all employees at the factory should be screened thoroughly to prevent further infection among the migrant worker community in the area.
Mr. Panya also spoke of the difficulties in trying to establish timelines of those infected to ascertain where they had visited in order to begin contact tracing.
In addition, Mr Panya said the village is home to workers at other factories around Hua Hin, meaning there is a risk of the infections spreading. He called on health officials to urgently control the situation in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, one local claimed that the husband of one of the people who tested positive was still staying in the rented room in the village, sparking concerns that those who had been in contact with patients were not properly isolating.
In response, disease control staff from the Hin Lek Fai Subdistrict Administrative Organisation said they plan to disinfect the worker’s accommodation and use interpreters to help establish timelines and begin contact tracing.
Investigations into how the workers came to be infected remain ongoing.
On Thursday (May 6), health officials announced 22 new COVID-19 cases for Prachuap Khiri Khan, 19 of which were in Hua Hin.