The Thai Health Service Support Department has identified approximately 660,000 people across Thailand who are believed to be “high-risk” for contracting covid-19.
Since the beginning of March, the department has enlisted the help of health volunteers around the country to screen and advise the population in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.
To date, more than 11.8 million households have been visited by officials or volunteers, with more than half a million people identified as high-risk and undergoing continuing monitoring.
In the group of high-risk people are almost 60,000 who have recently returned to Thailand from abroad. This includes Thai citizens who are being repatriated from various countries worldwide.
A further 463,756 people are those who have traveled to provinces around Thailand from Bangkok due to loss of work or to visit family members, and people linked to cluster cases including the boxing stadium and entertainment venues where there were flurries of covid-19 cases.
Health volunteers are charged with advising people in the high-risk category to follow government advice strictly and practice social distancing both in public and at home.
In Phuket, more than 3,000 people have been screened over the past week since the lockdown came into effect. Areas where the infection has already occurred and places that have a high concentration of workers are mostly being targeted on the island.
In the high-risk group, 9 percent of people were found to be infected with the virus in comparison to a rate of 1.1 percent infections for the general public.
With the postponed Songkran Festival traditionally starting today, authorities have warned people not to gather in groups and to maintain social distancing over the period.
Source: Thai PBS | Photo: Al Jazeera