The market had been closed for two weeks after medical staff found that some workers at the market were infected with COVID-19.
On Wednesday (June 16), Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO), explained that the four cases found infected on June 14 were all Myanmar national workers who worked at the Talad Kaset market.
That confirmation followed Dr Kusak on June 1 explaining that the 86-year-old Thai woman who was identified as the second death from COVID-19 since the ‘Third Wave’ outbreak hit the island on Apr 3 had close contact with her Myanmar caretaker, who was later also found infected.
“Medical staff went to conduct proactive screening at the area where the caretaker stayed and found five other Myanmar workers infected,” Dr Kusak said.
“The workers worked at the Phuket Town fresh market on Ong Sim Phai Rd, so we swab tested vendors and workers at the market; 460 Thai people and 350 migrant workers were tested, and we found one Myanmar national worker who was infected,” Dr Kusak said.
Present at the market yesterday for the “Big Cleaning Day”, during which all areas of the market were sanitised, were Vice Governor Pichet Panapong and newly installed Phuket Town Mayor Saroj Angkanapilas.
Mr Saroj explained that the market has been in operation for 42 years.
The market will now operate as two sections, he said yesterday.
“From 4am to midday, there are 483 vendors in the market building, 57 vendors on Ong Sim Phai Rd, and 61 vendors near Robinson department store. From 3pm to 11pm, there are 57 street food vendors serving the public,” Mr Saroj explained.
“As a result of the current COVID-19 outbreak, some vendors and workers in the market were found infected. Then the market had to be closed for two weeks, from June 3-16, to follow the disease control measures of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee,” he said.
“Therefore, Phuket City Municipality has conducted this cleaning and sanitising of the market, in order to boost the confidence of vendors and shoppers,” he said.
“However, vendors and shoppers must strictly follow the disease control measures to prevent the market from becoming [the centre of] a cluster again,” he said.