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All clear after Samut Sakhon shrimp truck scare, says Phuket health chief

All clear after Samut Sakhon shrimp truck scare, says Phuket health chief

PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Thanit Sermkaew has reported that no people who had close proximity to a shrimp delivery truck or its driver who had recently returned from Samut Sakhon have been found infected with COVID-19.

COVID-19Coronavirushealth
By The Phuket News

Friday 1 January 2021, 12:13PM


Phuket health chief Thanit Sermkaew says no people who had any close proximity with the driver or the truck were found to be infected with COVID-19. Photo: PR Phuket

Phuket health chief Thanit Sermkaew says no people who had any close proximity with the driver or the truck were found to be infected with COVID-19. Photo: PR Phuket

Dr Thanit explained yesterday (Dec 31) that concerns were raised after it became known that a truck and its driver had recently delivered shrimp from Pa Khlok to Samut Sakhon, and then returned.

The PPHO was informed of the truck, sparking an investigation by the PPHO investigation team, the Thalang District Public Health Office, Thalang Hospital and the Pa Khlok Health Promoting Hospital with assistance from Pa Khlok Moo 3 Village Headman Bancha Salika, Civil Defence Volunteers (OrSor) and the Thalang District Office.

The concerns were two-fold, as one of the people involved with the truck had arrived in Phuket from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Dr Thanit explained.

On Dec  16, at about 11pm, two trucks arrived at a shrimp processing co-operative in Soi Bang Toei, in  Moo 3 Pa Khlok. One truck was carrying the man from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, his wife and three children. The second truck was a refrigerated truck driven by a friend.

At about 6am the next day, the trucks were loaded and the two trucks left to deliver the shrimp to Samut Sakhon.

Then, on Dec 24, around 11pm, the driver originally from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, arrived to pick up shrimp from another shrimp processing co-op in Soi Bang Toei, Dr Thanit explained.

By about 7am the next day, the truck was loaded and the man again left to deliver shrimp to Samut Sakhon.

During his time parked at the shrimp co-ops, the driver did not leave his vehicle, Dr Thanit said.

Dive Supply Co., Ltd.

The result of the investigation has led health investigators to the conclusion that no people had high-risk exposure to man, who himself has not yet tested positive for COVID-19.

“The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office conducted a screening of all shrimp farm workers, three Thais, 22 foreign workers, and no suspects were found,” Dr Thanit said.

Dr Thanit called for cooperation from the public to not allow people from risk areas to enter Phuket until at least Jan 5.

He also called for efforts to be made to build understanding and better “self-defense” against the hazards of contracting the virus among communities near shrimp farms.

Dr Thanit said the PPHO was continuing its work on monitoring any “risk persons” arriving from Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

The PPHO is also working with Phang Nga officials to follow up reports about a “shrimp selection team” of about 10 people traveling from Phang Nga to Phuket, he said.

Health officials are also coordinating with Krabi provincial officials to follow up on a “shrimp catching team”  about 5 people arriving from Krabi, he added.

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