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A Cambodian is among 42 migrant workers with COVID-19 detained in Thailand

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Cambodian migrant workers trekking home while some headed the opposite direction only to be banned by the Thais. AKP

A Cambodian national is among 42 migrant workers in Songkhla who have been infected with Covid-19, among new infections reported by the Thai government on Saturday.

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The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) yesterday reported one death and 53 new infections, bringing the total to 2,907 infections and 51 dead.

The 42 nabbed were migrants who had been detained at the immigration centre in Songkhla for illegal entry, said Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the CCSA.

They were from Cambodia, Myanmar (34), Vietnam (3), Malaysia (2), Yemen (1), and India (1). The infections were discovered during active case finding, Dr Taweesilp said.

Dr Taweesilp said people in Songkhla need not worry about the risk since the group in question had been detained and was being closely monitored.

Another four new cases involved people who had been in contact with existing patients (3) and a person who went to a crowded place, Dr Taweesilp said.

The remaining seven cases were discovered by active case finding in Yala province.

The death was a 48-year-old Thai man who had been in contact with a previously reported case, he said.

A jump in new cases in Singapore and the addition of five countries — Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar — to the dangerous zone list have led to a more proactive approach, which includes active case finding, Dr Taweesilp said.

Up until now, the list consisted of four countries — South Korea, China (including Macau and Hong Kong), Italy and Iran.

Singapore has seen skyrocketing growth in infections, with more than 6,000 new cases in the past week, almost all of them were among migrant labourers living in crowded dormitories that health authorities had all but overlooked earlier.

The city-state registered 618 new infections on Saturday, taking the total number to 12,693.

Diplomatic and economic experts are calling on all countries in the region to step up screening of migrant workers in the future to prevent the transmission of diseases like Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday the Public Health Ministry will ask Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who heads the CCSA, to continue barring foreigners from entering Thailand.

Mr Anutin said Thailand has managed to reduce and slow the spread of the infection, though imported cases could derail the current disease control measures. Bangkok Post

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