Around 1,000 people in a sprawling, squalid community by the Chao Phraya River lined up to get vaccinated Tuesday, the first day of a campaign to inoculate 50,000 residents in the densely populated area.
At a Tesco Lotus on Rama IV Road and the Khlong Toei Witthaya School, residents of Khlong Toei, as the large informal c0mmunity is known, arrived to get doses of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines amid the latest outbreak which has seen the highest ongoing death toll since the pandemic began.
The campaign came after at least 300 Khlong Toei residents became infected. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration expects to complete the campaign within two weeks by vaccinating 2,000 to 3,000 people per day. Officials said they plan to proactively administer around 20,000 COVID-19 tests by May 19 on the Khlong Toei population.
Upward of 100,000 people are estimated to live in the community, who were targeted by renewed efforts to evict and relocate them last year to redevelop the area and build a shopping mall.
Thailand today reported 2,112 new COVID-19 infections and 15 deaths, bringing the total to 74,900 infections and 318 fatalities since the pandemic began in Thailand in January 2020. Monday saw a one-day record in reported fatalities – 31 deaths.
Bangkok is currently among six severely impacted zones where several new health measures were put in place Saturday. They included blanket bans on dining at restaurants, limited opening hours for shopping malls and convenience stores and the closures of venues including schools, public parks, gyms and cinemas.