Thailand on Sunday began testing tens of thousands of people for coronavirus and extended curbs on movement, a day after locking down a province following the country’s worst outbreak yet.
The outbreak began at a shrimp market in Samut Sakhon, a province southwest of Bangkok and a center of the seafood industry home to thousands of migrant workers. Just four cases were reported on Friday, but this jumped to 689 by Sunday, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Thailand previously kept the epidemic in check, recording little more than 5,000 COVID-19 cases.
The ministry’s permanent secretary said up to 40,000 people would be tested.
Migrant workers, mostly from Myanmar, lined up for testing, along with some Thais. Most cases identified so far have been asymptomatic, health officials said.
Barbed wire surrounded the market on Sunday as authorities in Bangkok ordered all schools in three districts in the capital to close until January 4.