COVID-19 Situation Update 16
Date: November 29th 2021
Thailand is currently experiencing its third and most severe wave of COVID-19 which, like the majority of the globe, is driven by the highly infectious delta variant. Tak’s current epidemic began in late June with large outbreaks in factories which employed thousands of migrant workers from Burma. The vast majority of the province’s nearly 25,000 total cases of COVID-19 logged this year were from the last six months, resulting in nearly 350 deaths. While there is now evidence that the epidemic is subsiding, and some COVID-19 restrictions have recently been eased in Thailand, Tak Province remains one of the 23 maximum control zones, the second highest level, among Thailand’s 77 provinces, as a result of ongoing community transmission.
For the past two weeks, the case numbers in Mae Sot and the nearby districts of Phop Phra, Mae Ramat, and Tha Song Yang have averaged around 50 new infections per day. (Tak Provincial Public Relations Office Page) The Mae Tao Clinic, as an official field hospital of the Thai health system, has also seen marked reductions in number of clients and, at present, there are 12 people infected with COVID-19 being cared for at MTC. Since the start of the current wave, MTC has treated a total of 738 COVID-19 patients, all of whom have either been referred from the Thai health system, are staff from MTC and partner organizations or are residents of the surrounding communities. In addition to the patients infected with COVID-19, 30 newborns have been referred to MTC to be cared for until their mothers who are infected with COVID-19 are discharged from the COVID-19 ward at Mae Sot General Hospital.
Starting from November 1st, the Thai government further eased up on some COVID-19 restrictions, including relaxations of quarantine measures for fully vaccinated international arrivals from lower incidence countries (63 countries, including Myanmar). Meanwhile, the nationwide vaccination rollout rate has been steadily gathering pace and about 61.89% of the population is fully vaccinated as of November 28th. However, there is considerable heterogeneity in vaccination rates and the corresponding rate for Tak Province remains below the national average. This reality, along with ongoing, large-scale, informal migration from Burma to Thailand as people flee conflict, abuse, and economic devastation wrought by the coup, renders Tak Province remains highly vulnerable to ongoing COVID-19 transmission, particularly as many migrants continue to experience living conditions in Thailand which render preventive measures such as physical distancing and isolation nearly impossible.
During the height of the crisis, all services had to be halted at MTC in order to devote resources to control COVID-19 and care for our own staff. However, at present, all services have resumed, operating under new, strict COVID-19 prevention guidelines and protocols, including controls on the number of clients waiting at any given time.
|Category||Total case||New case||Referred to MSH||Currently under supervision||Recovered/
|Non clinical staff||100||0||12||0||100|
|Surrounding community contact||85||0||5||0||85|
|RH delivery patients and their family||28||1||8||1||24|
* Last updated on November 24th, 2021
As of November 24th, 12 people infected with COVID-19 (11 patients and their household members, and 1 person referred from the Mae Sot public health system) are in isolation within the clinic compound. Those who have had close contact with patients confirmed to have COVID-19 are also quarantined in facilities overseen by MTC and partner organization staff. A total of 720 people infected with COVID-19 have recovered and have been discharged after at least 14 days isolation and monitoring.
Under the Thai national COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, frontline health workers have been prioritized for vaccinations, which includes staff from MTC. Currently, 325 MTC staff have now been fully vaccinated (with two doses of Sinovac, Sinopharm, Pfizer or AstraZeneca) and 27 staff who have completed the two-dose series of Sinovac earlier on this year received an additional 3rd booster dose of AstraZeneca as per Thai national vaccination policy. 26 staff members who were infected with COVID-19 and recovered are registered for and will receive the COVID-19 vaccine soon.
In addition, the MTC has also been designated as a vaccination site for the migrant community in Mae Sot, working as a key part of the Thailand vaccination rollout plan to expand coverage to as much of the population as possible. As part of this initiative, a total of 678 staff members of MTC and its partner organizations, along with community members on the priority list for exposure to and consequences of COVID-19, have been fully vaccinated (with Sinopharm) by trained health workers of MTC and its partner organizations. Furthermore, working in collaboration with a partner organization, Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, MTC plans to administer 6,250 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to migrants (including those without documents) along the Thai-Burma border within the next several months. As a vaccination provider, MTC has been working closely with its partner organizations to safely and effectively do so, putting into place systems for data management, cold chain management, and instituting adequate and timely training on vaccinations (including monitoring for adverse effects and developing timely referral systems) for all staff members.
MTC, along with its partner CBOs and EHOs, will continue working with international NGOs to advocate for vaccine equity, helping to expand access for vulnerable populations living along the Thai-Burma border. Expanding such measures will not only protect the lives and livelihoods of among the most marginalized populations in Thailand but will also help to address the significant and ongoing health security threat posed by COVID-19 to the country and the region, particularly given widening conflict, human rights abuses, displacement and forced migration in Burma.
Since August 4th, Children’s Development Center has been providing education in a contact-free manner to 429 students that are enrolled in the 2021-2022 academic year. Thai Ministry of Public Health started rolling out COVID-19 vaccination for high school students between the ages of 12 and 18 since October 4th (using the Pfizer vaccine) as part of the national vaccine rollout plan prior to the planned school opening in November. As part of this initiative, 69 CDC students (=< 18 years old) have received their first vaccine dose with Pfizer.
All OPD services other than physiotherapy and acupuncture have now been resumed in a limited fashion and with advance reservations, while all inpatient services have been fully resumed starting from October 4th. Please refer to the Facebook pages of the Mae Tao Clinic (in English and Burmese), which will frequently be updated to incorporate the most up-to-date information as it becomes available, particularly during the current unpredictable situation.
We are deeply thankful for all those that have and continue to support our work and the communities we work with. The supplies that we are currently most in need of are listed below.
|General Social Support|
|Dry food (rice; tinned fish; cooking oil; salt; yellow beans; chili powder; seasoning etc.)|
|Nutritional supplements (milk; milo)|
|PPEs (surgical mask for medical use; face shields; medical/ hospital grade gloves; medical coveralls)|
|N95 face mask|
|Alcohol 70% + Glycerin 1% or Alcohol Gel|
|Personal Hygiene Kit (soap; shampoo; tooth paste & tooth brush; sanitation pad; toilet paper)|
*The list of approved kits can be found on the Thai FDA website, here: https://www.fda.moph.go.th/sites/Medical/SitePages/test_kit_covid19.aspx
Please note that this list is dynamic and, given the rapidly evolving circumstances, will be frequently updated to reflect our changing needs and priorities. For further questions regarding donations, please contact the designated persons listed below.
For general inquiries and donations, please contact the following:
- Ms Nwe Ni (English, Burmese and Thai language), Tel. 084-820-3743
- Ms Naw Annie (English, Burmese and Karen language), Tel. 089-916-5855
- Ms Pattinee Suanprasert (English and Thai language), Tel. 087-677-1415
For media inquiries:
- Communication team, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms Pattinee Suanprasert (Thai language), Tel. 087-677-1415
For clinical inquiries:
- Ms Sophia Hla (English, Burmese and Karen language), Tel. 081-037-5800
- Ms Wah Kuh Paw (Burmese and Karen language), Tel. 089-961-7316
For those interested in supporting our COVID-19 emergency response efforts directly: this can be done through deposits/wire transfer to the following account:
Account Name: Suwannimit Foundation for Mae Tao Clinic
Account Number: 016-8-83807-7
Bank and Branch: Kasikorn Bank, Mae Sot
SWIFT Code: KASITHBK
Bank Address: 84/9, Prasart Withi Rd., Mae Sot, Tak Province 63110, Thailand