Red zone province Samut Sakhon up in arms over vaccine supply
Many Samut Sakhon people have updated their social media profiles to "reclaim vaccines for Samut Sakhon", led by the Federation of Industries and the Provincial Chamber of Commerce, to protest against inadequate supply of doses to the red zone province.
The government aims to provide 10 million doses of the vaccine nationwide in July. However, Samut Sakhon, which has been hit hard by the pandemic for more than six months, has received only 70,000 doses of the vaccine of the previous plan to allocate 330,000 doses to Samut Sakhon.
Chathip Tangkulpaisarn, chairman of the Samut Sakhon Chamber of Commerce, said on June 21 the group had sent a letter to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to review the Covid-19 vaccine allocation as supply is limited. "But, I think, it should be increased. Maybe there will be a way out. At the moment, almost 200 people in Samut Sakhon are infected per day. There are various factories in Samut Sakhon, ranging from food, textiles, even children's toys and snacks. Factories with infected people have to temporarily suspend production, close the zones, and some factories may have to be suspended. This will affect production on the whole,” said Chathip.
The third wave of coronavirus infections in Samut Sakhon is mostly the variant first seen in Britain and mainly infects the Thai population. Samut Sakhon has vaccinated about 110,000 people, or about 10 per cent of the population. The population of Samut Sakhon includes both local people and migrant workers who come to make a living in the area, both Thais and foreigners, totalling around 970,000 people. The vaccine is given mainly to Thai people and not foreign workers.
Since the third wave of the coronavirus outbreak (in April), factory workers in estimated 100 factories have been infected.
Samut Sakhon has more than 6,000 industrial factories. There are also other small establishments, totalling about 110,000, with approximately 700,000 workers in the province --- 300,000 of them foreign workers.
“Covid infection in this round has already started to have some impact on the export sector, for example some industry groups have slowed down after receiving orders, as there is a shortage of at least 50,000 workers,” said Chathip.