TRANG — Thai fishery workers who returned from Malaysia were surprised to find that the coronavirus “quarantine facility” they had to stay in the next 14 days turned out to be nothing more than tents pitched on the side of a road.
The makeshift quarantine center was located on a strip of road in Trang’s Kantang district, where eight workers are being held. One of the returnees described the living condition as unbearable under the hot and humid April sun. Local officials said they’re struggling to find a more comfortable facility.
“We are cooperating with the community and authorities,” Arthikorn Mazunee, 41, said. “But we are facing many difficulties here. What will happen if the rain falls? During the day, the road was so hot that I couldn’t sleep. I ask the authorities to find a better place than this, so we don’t have to live in misery.”
Apart from eight tents that are put up under another large tent to provide some shade, the facility has large electric fans and two portable toilets.
Ban Ko Khiam village headman Taweesak Kohsamun said the camp is just a preliminary solution since the local administration is struggling to secure a school and turn it into a proper quarantine facility.
“We wanted to use a school as a quarantine facility, but it was declined since the school district office did not approve the proposal,” Taweesak said. “Therefore, we have to set it up on a road for now until the permission is granted.”
Although he admitted the heat problem, he said there’s enough food and consumables provided at the roadside facility.
The workers cannot opt for self-quarantine at their homes since the community is already crowded and there’s not enough space to isolate them, the village headman added.