Covid-19 cases linked to Thai market rise to 689

Bangkok, Dec 20 (efe-epa).- Thai authorities on Sunday raised the number of new Covid-19 infections linked to an outbreak at a seafood market to 689.

It is the biggest single outbreak in Thailand since the pandemic started.

Authorities have traced it to a market in the province of Samut Sakhon, which borders Bangkok. Many of the market workers are migrants, from countries like Malaysia and Singapore, according to the local press.

Health authorities on Thursday said a 67-year-old woman at the market tested positive.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the country’s Covid-19 response unit, told a press conference a further 10,300 Covid-19 tests would be conducted between Sunday and Wednesday.

Officials have cordoned off the market and the workers’ lodgings.

Schools and gyms in the province have been closed as a precautionary measure while restaurants will temporarily be ordered to offer takeaway service only.

The Southeast Asian nation has reported fewer than 5,000 infections and 60 deaths in total during the pandemic, far below much of the Western world.

Authorities maintain strict control of the borders but there are no restrictions to travel within the country, although mask-use in public spaces is obligatory.

Thai authorities had relaxed Covid-19 measures in recent months in a bid to revive the tourism sector, which represents between 12 and 20% of its GDP.

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