World

Thai seafood market outbreak passes 1,000 cases

BANGKOK: A coronavirus outbreak linked to a seafood market in Thailand passed 1,000 cases yesterday, as the authorities weighed whether to introduce a wider lockdown.

Thailand has been on tenterhooks since last Thursday following the positive virus test of a 67-year-old prawn seller from Mahachai market, Samut Sakhon province, about 40 minutes south-west of Bangkok.

As of early yesterday morning, there were 1,063 positive cases out of 6,156 tested - a major outbreak for a country that previously had 4,300 infections.

The majority of the new cases are workers from Myanmar, who toil on shrimp boats and in processing factories linked to the multi-billion-dollar Thai seafood industry.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha yesterday vowed legal action against people bringing illegal migrant workers into Thailand.

"They must be prosecuted without any leniency whatsoever," he said in a televised address to the nation.

"This latest flare-up of infections in Samut Sakhon is primarily due to such illegal immigrants and they have brought much grief to the country."

Meanwhile, Sydney has seen a two-day dip in cases after the Australian authorities imposed a snap lockdown. A Covid-19 cluster on Sydney's northern beaches has grown to 90 cases since emerging last week.

But despite record testing, only eight new coronavirus cases were confirmed yesterday after 15 cases the previous day. - REUTERS, AFP

WORLD