Ca Covid-19 Thailand doubled in just 20 days during a new outbreak, forcing authorities to impose a series of strict restrictions to prevent the spread of the epidemic.
Thai officials today reported 2,048 more cases and 8 deaths in the past 24 hours. The new figures bring the total number of cases to more than 57,500, nearly doubling in just 20 days from a total of 29,000 cases earlier this month.
Thailand is suffering from a third Covid-19 wave, partly due to the transformation of the nCoV strain from the UK. The country on April 25 recorded 11 more deaths, marking the highest daily number of deaths caused by Covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The complicated epidemic has forced the authorities to impose a series of strict restrictions, effective from today. In the capital Bangkok, where the latest outbreak originated in a nightlife district, as well as 46 other provinces, wearing public masks is a must. Violators could be fined 20,000 baht ($ 640).
Capital officials also closed a series of venues including cinemas, parks, gymnasiums, swimming pools, spas and kindergartens.
The new restrictions come a week after authorities ordered bars and nightclubs to be closed, and banned restaurants that serve alcohol.
Before the latest outbreak, Thailand has worked to reduce infections thanks to strict travel restrictions and quick action to isolate cases. However, the immunization campaign is considered slow when vaccinating less than one million people out of about 66 million people, making Thailand lagging behind other countries in the region.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said the government is trying to provide more doses of the vaccine and boost the vaccination program to 300,000 people a day. Thailand yesterday received an additional 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from the Chinese company Sinovac. Another million doses are expected by mid-May.
In Southeast Asia, the epidemic is also complicatedly developing in Cambodia and Laos. In Cambodia, which is experiencing the new Covid-19 wave, the capital Phnom Penh was blocked, all markets selling fresh produce in the city were closed for 14 days.
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday ordered stricter enforcement of blockade measures. Cambodia currently records 10,000 infections and 72 deaths.
In Laos, which was largely unaffected by the pandemic last year, is also seeing a rapid increase in cases, from 58 to 323 cases in less than a week. The capital, Vientiane, was frozen last week, with the government banning people from leaving their homes unless they needed to buy necessities or go to hospital. The ancient capital of Luang Prabang was also blocked from April 25.
Huyen Le (According to the AFP)