Bangkok (VNA)Thailand’s Industry Ministry has said that COVID-19 has spread to the manufacturing sector at a worrying rate of 13 infected factories a day, with the food and electronics industries at the top of the caseload table.

Local media quoted a latest survey of 749 factories in 62 provinces between April 1 and Aug 17. The ministry found new infections in 13 factories and some 800 workers a day, making up 4 percent of total daily infections in Thailand.

The top five industries where infections were reported are food (136 factories), followed by electronics (103), metal (65), garments (64) and plastics (57).

The ministry did not consider the infections to be new clusters because the number of COVID-19 cases was lower than 100 in many factories.

Factory operators and state officials are working together to contain the spread of the virus through the Thai Stop COVID-19 scheme, which assesses hygienic standards at factories. Those with acceptable standards are given e-certificates.

Up to 20,032 factories, or 31 percent of 64,038 factories registered with the ministry, have joined the scheme.

Decha Chatutananant, inspector-general for the ministry and chairman of the Crisis Management Centre said that 66 percent, or 13,235 factories, passed the criteria, while 34 percent, or 6,797 factories, failed the assessment. The latter needs to improve their hygienic standards, he added.

He suggested some factories adopt bubble-and-seal measures to better protect workers against disease transmission.

On August 19, Thailand confirmed 20,754 new infections and 301 deaths.

Earlier, through his Facebook account, Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha called on all people to strictly implement pandemic prevention and control given by the government./.