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300 migrants discharged after Thai market COVID-19 outbreak

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Migrant workers get sprayed with disinfectant as they leave the Covid-19 field hospital at Samut Sakhon’s provincial stadium, after completing their quarantine period. Bangkok Post

BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – Almost 300 Myanmar migrants left the field hospital in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, yesterday, becoming the first large group of migrants to have recovered from COVID-19.

A total of 292 Myanmar migrants were declared free of COVID-19 and discharged from the hospital which was set up inside a sports stadium.

They waved goodbye to doctors and healthcare workers before being taken in military trucks to the Central Shrimp Market where they live and work.

The market stopped trading when it became a virus transmission hotspot.

The recovered migrants went home with COVID-19-free certificates issued by the provincial public health office.

They need to submit the paper to immigration authorities.

At the market, they were welcomed back with open arms by fellow migrants. Many had feared for their livelihoods when the outbreak occurred.

Other workers at the market who had tested positive for COVID-19 before have been treated and were also given a clean bill of health, according to Thiraphat Khatchamat, deputy governor of Samut Sakhon.

The shrimp market is expected to reopen at the end of this month, he said.

The market was shut on December 19 last year after it was found to be the source of a large cluster of new COVID-19 infections.

As of Sunday, at least 3,441 confirmed COVID-19 cases were connected to the Samut Sakhon cluster, 3,109 of which were people living in the province, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Samut Sakhon chief public health officer Naretrit Khatthasima said the recovered COVID-19 workers now have immunity against COVID-19 and the chance that they will ever get infected again by the same strain is very low.

About 300 more people who have recovered are expected to be discharged from the field hospital today, Dr Naretrit said.

 

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