Thailand Launches Mass COVID-19 Testing in Khlong Toei

The Bangkok Community Help Foundation has launched a COVID-19 mass testing drive in Khlong Toei, Bangkok’s biggest slum with about 100,000 dwellers, on Wednesday.

According to the Foundation, the mass testing drive would help identify cases and “stop Khlong Toei from becoming a reservoir that reinfects the whole city.”

“There are many people living in very tight and confined spaces. In many cases, people are living with 10 people in a house… which means if one has Covid, the rest have it,” Foundation co-founder Frisco Poldervaart told AFP. 

“It’s usually the case that if people tested positive, they get a home isolation kit. The issue is that here, they cannot home isolate,” Poldevaart added.

The Foundation has tested about 1,000 people in recent days, and about 50 tested positive.

The Foundation used free meals, rice donations, and mangosteen juice as incentives to encourage hesitant residents to undergo a swab test.

Meanwhile, Thailand approved an additional 17 billion baht (US$521 million) of financial support for people affected by COVID-19 on Tuesday.

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