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Two clusters of COVID-19 cases were identified in Bangkok, Thailand linked to entertainment areas, including pubs, bars and nightclubs in March 2020. A joint investigation was carried out by healthcare staff and epidemiologists from the Division of Epidemiology of Department of Disease Control and the Urban Disease Control and Prevention. A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed to describe characteristics of the outbreak clusters, perform contact tracing, and provide recommendations for outbreak control. In total, there were 15 cases in the first cluster and 31 cases in the second cluster; including both the index cases and cases that were later identified from contact tracing. Sharing utensils, glasses and cigarettes was a key risk behavior. Moreover, active case finding was done among the personnel of a pub linked to the majority of the cases. Eighteen percent of the workers in this pub was infected with SARS-CoV-2. After the reopening of pubs, bars and nightclubs, a sentinel surveillance policy and close monitoring program among people with a history of travelling to or working at entertainment places was implemented.
Keywords: coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Thailand, nightclub, contact tracing, sentinel surveillance
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