Thailand launches “Factory Sandbox” to protect 3 million jobs
The programme is expected to protect 3 million jobs and support manufacturers which contribute about 700 billion baht (US$21.2 billion) to Thailand’s GDP.
To curb supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, the programme will test, vaccinate and isolate factory staff who work in large factories manufacturing cars, electronics, food and medical equipment for export, in provinces which are key production hubs.
These factories must employ at least 500 workers, have a field hospital or isolation facility and shuttle services for employees.
The Thai government hopes this programme will boost confidence among local and foreign investors when supply chains in competitor countries are shutting down.
All workers in participating factories will be tested for COVID-19. Those who test positive will be isolated, while cohorts will be vaccinated. Workers will have to undergo subsequent tests every seven days to see if they have been infected.
The initial phase of the programme will see 60 factories in Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Sakhon and Chonburi, with a combined workforce of 138,000, participating, according to the National News Bureau of Thailand.