The woman who died was the second death in the current outbreak of COVID-19, Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon said yesterday (June 2).
Through contact tracing, health officials had confirmed that the Myanmar woman who worked as a caretaker for the 86-year-old was infected, and then learned that five other Myanmar workers living at the same camp as the caretaker were also infected, he explained.
That led health officers to the Talad Kaset fresh market on Ong Sim Phai Rd in Phuket Town, where the five infected Myanmar workers worked, and where health officers arrived with officials from Phuket City Municipality yesterday afternoon to deliver the bad news.
Newly installed Phuket City Mayor Saroj Angkhanapilas was present for the occasion.
Mayor Saroj explained to the market vendors that he had been informed of the need to take action by the Phuket Governor.
“As it became known, swab samples were taken from about 170 migrant workers at the market on May 31, and one of those workers has tested positive,” he said.
Swab samples were taken from more than 400 people working at the market in total. The overall results of the tests have not yet been announced.
Mayor Saroj explained that at this time there was no reason to close Phuket Municipal Fresh Market 1, on Ranong Rd, as there had been no indication that anyone working at that market had been infected.
More than 100 migrant workers at the Ranong Rd market had swab samples taken on Tuesday, and a further 200 people at the market were to have swab samples taken yesterday.
Mayor Saroj explained that if any persons found working at the Ranong Rd market were found to be infected, then that market would also need to be closed temporarily.
While the fresh market on Ong Sim Phai Rd is closed, the market will be cleaned thoroughly and sanitised by Phuket City Municipality staff to prevent further spread of the virus, Mayor Saroj said.
“This is to build confidence among customers and the vendors at the market and to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.