Mass COVID-19 testing launched in Bangkok's biggest slum

BANGKOK: For families struggling to survive on US$150 a month in Bangkok's biggest slum, COVID-19 swab tests are a luxury that few can afford.The Khlong Toei slum, where an estimated 100,000 people live packed into tiny, overcrowded dwellings, has been a major concern as Thailand battles its third wave of the pandemic. Now the Bangkok Community Help Foundation, a charity, has launched a mass testing drive to try to identify cases and help stop Khlong Toei from becoming a reservoir that re-infects the whole city. The foundation said the programme - linked to guaranteed hospital beds for positive cases - was long overdue. Almost 1,000 people have been swabbed in recent days, it said, with close to 50 coming back positive. "There are many people living in very tight and confined spaces. In many cases people are living with 10 people in a house ... of maybe 20 sq m, which means if one has COVID, the rest have it," foundation co-founder Friso Poldervaart told AFP. "It's usually the case that if people (test positive), they get given a home isolation kit. The issue is here that they cannot home isolate."

Mass COVID-19 testing launched in Bangkok's biggest slum

BANGKOK: For families struggling to survive on US$150 a month in Bangkok's biggest slum, COVID-19 swab tests are a luxury that few can afford.

The Khlong Toei slum, where an estimated 100,000 people live packed into tiny, overcrowded dwellings, has been a major concern as Thailand battles its third wave of the pandemic.

Now the Bangkok Community Help Foundation, a charity, has launched a mass testing drive to try to identify cases and help stop Khlong Toei from becoming a reservoir that re-infects the whole city.

The foundation said the programme - linked to guaranteed hospital beds for positive cases - was long overdue.

Almost 1,000 people have been swabbed in recent days, it said, with close to 50 coming back positive.

"There are many people living in very tight and confined spaces. In many cases people are living with 10 people in a house ... of maybe 20 sq m, which means if one has COVID, the rest have it," foundation co-founder Friso Poldervaart told AFP.

"It's usually the case that if people (test positive), they get given a home isolation kit. The issue is here that they cannot home isolate."