Southeast Asian countries act to prevent COVID-19 spread hinh anh 1Myanmar labourers wait for their turn to be tested for COVID-19 in Muang district of Samut Sakhon (Photo: Bangkok Post)

Bangkok (VNA) – Many Southeast Asian countries have taken various measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus since the number of infections have increased in the nations recently.

The confirmed COVID-19 caseload in Thailand soared by 382 on December 21, 360 of them were migrant workers from Myanmar who had close link to an outbreak at a wholesale seafood market in Samut Sakhon province near Bangkok.

The number of new infections surged due to intensive testing of thousands of migrant workers in the fishing industry.

Permanent secretary for public health Kiatiphum Wongrajit said the Thai authorities are testing 10,000 migrant Myanmar workers, and the number is expected to increase to 40,000 in a bid to contain the outbreak within the province.

Samut Sakhon has been put under lockdown with a curfew from 10pm-5am in effect until January, together with social distancing and travel restriction.

Thailand has so far confirmed a total 5,289 COVID-19 cases, including 60 deaths.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Health Ministry to allocate more fabric facemasks to the provinces bordering Thailand’s Samut Sakhon, with three main border gates of O’ Smach, Daung and Poipet to receive a large number of facemasks.

Besides, localities having border with Thailand have prepared disposable facemasks for migrant workers coming back to the country.

Earlier, Hun Sen announced to grant 50 million KHR (12,500 USD) for seven provinces bordering Thailand to cope with the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Philippines documented 1,721 new cases and 10 deaths on December 21, increasing the total infections to 461,505 and deaths to 8,957.

According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the Philippines has ensured vaccination for some 22 million people, or 20 percent of the population. Last month, the nation signed a deal with AstraZeneca to buy 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. It targets inoculation for around 60 million people in 3-5 years.

Amidst the complicated development of the pandemic, Indonesia and Myanmar have enhanced restriction measures to prevent risks of new outbreaks during Christmas and New Year Holiday.

As of December 21, the COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 6,848 within one day to 671,778, with the death toll adding by 205 to 20,085. Meanwhile, Myanmar logged 116,000 infections and 2,443 deaths ./.