Thailand sets a new daily record with about 1,000 virus cases

Bangkok (AP) — Thai Ministry of Health warns on Sunday that the country has set daily records of new cases and may need to tighten restrictions to slow the spread of fresh coronavirus waves. Did.

The ministry confirmed a record 967 new infections in 24 hours, bringing Thailand’s total to 32,625 since January last year and killing 97 people. The outbreak occurs after the country has largely suppressed the virus for most of last year.

If the number of cases is still increasing in two weeks, measures must be taken to go beyond the current limits on nightlife and long-standing social distance rules, said Dr. Sophon Iamsirithaworn, Deputy Director of Disease Control. I am.

Most of the recent cases have been attributed to outbreaks at several nightlife entertainment venues in Bangkok last month, Sophon said. He said people should work from home and exercise vigilance.

A test of patients infected at a nightspot in Bangkok found patients infected with a British variant of the coronavirus, which was found to be more infectious than the original strain.

The surge in cases is most pronounced in the capital Bangkok, Chiang Mai in the north and Chonburi province in the east, with the seaside resort town of Pattaya.

Bangkok is a potential vector of transmission of any disease as a commercial and transport hub across the country. This week, Thais celebrate the traditional Songkran New Year’s Day, increasing the risk. In the meantime, many usually leave the capital to celebrate with their families in their hometown.

Despite the risks, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha did not ban travel between states when he announced measures to combat the spread of the virus last week.

His government ordered 41 states to close their entertainment venues for 14 days. The Governor has been empowered to take additional steps such as immigration, closure, curfew, and testing of visitors from other states.

Chiang Mai state health officials are requiring visitors from four states in and around Bangkok to self-quarantine for up to 14 days during their stay, a Thai state news agency reported. A 280-bed field hospital was established to treat COVID-19 patients.

The Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced the managers of two clubs whose outbreaks were tracked to two months’ imprisonment on Saturday for violating last year’s emergency measures covering health regulations to prevent the virus. The district’s chief, Maj. Gen. Sophon Sarawat, said the location of the facility.

The outbreak has become a political issue due to accusations that senior government members may have patronized the club and ignored health regulations. The country’s transport minister tested positive for the virus, but he and other ministers denied the claim.

Dr. Sophon explained that another reason the situation is “worrisome” is that most cases are found in the 20-29 and 30-39 age groups.

“These groups have an active lifestyle that allows them to spread the virus to more people,” says Sophon. He also stated that they were relatively young and strong, tended to show few or no symptoms, and thus masked their illness.

Bangkok has already made arrangements for hospitals to increase the number of beds and to establish field hospitals in military installations.

A long-term concern is that Thailand is lagging behind in vaccination of its 69 million population, making it more difficult to recover from recent outbreaks. By Friday, a total of 537,380 coronavirus vaccines had been administered in 77 states, according to Deputy Government spokesman Traisuree Taisaranakul.