Thailand Assessments Over 10,000 Individuals After Document COVID-19 Surge

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand plans to test more than 10,000 people after a record rise in coronavirus cases to over 500, most of whom were among migrant workers linked to a shrimp market near the capital, an official said on Tuesday Sunday.

As of Wednesday, authorities plan to run 10,300 tests in southwest Samut Sakhon province, where the outbreak occurred, and nearby provinces like Samut Songkhram and Nakhon Pathom, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for Thailand's COVID-19 task force, told a news conference.

"Active case outcomes are continuing in multiple provinces, indeed across the country," he said.

Thailand, the first country outside of China to report coronavirus infections, has largely kept the outbreak under control with 4,907 cases and 60 deaths.

On Sunday, Thailand confirmed 576 new infections, including 516 cases of migrant workers announced on-site the day before.

The new cases include 19 locally transmitted cases in Bangkok and Samut Sakhon Province, where the 516 infections were also found. All of them were associated with the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon. There were also 41 imported cases.

Most of the migrant workers in Samut Sakhon are from Myanmar, which has suffered a far worse outbreak than Thailand, where health officials attribute early action to limit the spread of the virus.

Other Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore and Malaysia, have also reported thousands of cases among migrant workers.

The surge in cases in Thailand comes just as it seeks to revive a tourism industry devastated by the pandemic. Restrictions were eased on Thursday to allow more foreign tourists to return.

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