Thailand to tighten control of wet markets to contain COVID-19 spread

The Health Department has decided to tighten up controls on wet markets across the country after finding 14,678 people in and around 132 markets in 23 provinces were infected with coronavirus between April 1 this year and August 10.

The enhanced measures include weekly testing of traders and workers in the markets, using rapid antigen test kits (ATKs), reducing the number of market entrances and exits, improved ventilation, daily disinfection of the markets and cleansing of contact points with disinfectants.

Health Department Director-General Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said today that, from now on, if one vendor at a specific stall or trading space is found to be infected, that stall will be closed down for 14 days.

If two are found to be infected, that stall will be closed 14 days and disinfected, with the infected people, as well as those who are in close contact with them, being isolated and barred from entering the market.

If more than 10% of the vendors and workers in a market test positive for the virus during active screening, the market will immediately be closed.

Dr. Suwanchai said community quarantine facilities should be set up in each market, if space is available and, in the meantime, traders who are not infected, as well as people in surrounding communities, must be inoculated.

Source: Thai PBS World