136 new local coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

136 new local coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

A transparent partition was installed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 at the Wattana district office's service outlet on Thong Lor Road in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo: Apichart Jinakukl)
A transparent partition was installed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 at the Wattana district office's service outlet on Thong Lor Road in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo: Apichart Jinakukl)

The government on Monday reported 136 new local cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), raising the total to 1,524, with two more deaths - and asked people to put more effort into staying home.

No new deaths were initially reported, but it later emerged that two more patients had died.

Dr Anupong Suchariyakul, a specialist of the Disease Control Department, said one was a Thai man, 54, who had visited Malaysia and been later admitted to a hospital in Yala. The other was a Thai woman, 56, who had suffered pneumonia and been admitted to a private hospital in Bangkok. 

The number of new infections was marginally lower than the 143 reported on Sunday. Dr Anupong said of the new 136 cases, 59 had been in contact with previous patients; 21 -- both Thais and foreigners -- had recently arrived from other countries; 15 had been in crowded places or worked closely with foreigners; 10 had visited entertainment places; four had worked in public transport; two had visited boxing stadiums, and two were medical personnel. So far, a total of 21 medical personnel have been infected, while Bangkok's police chief later said 27 Bangkok police officers have contracted Covid-19.

Of 1,524 cases, Dr Anupong said, 1,297 were Thai and 227 were foreigners. The largest cluster of patients – 715 -- was in Bangkok. The average age of all patients was 40.

A total of 1,388 patients were still being treated in hospitals, 23 of them severely ill. Sixteen patients were discharged on Monday, raising the total of recovered cases to 127.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, earlier on Monday told a briefing there were now patients in 59 provinces, with the increased numbers in Bangkok, Chon Buri, Krabi, Nonthaburi, Pattani, Phuket, Sa Kaeo, Ubon Ratchathani and Yala raising particular concern. Nine new cases were reported in Phuket on Monday.

He said 32 patients in Phuket and six in Krabi had worked at entertainment places, restaurants and hotels, while some were public transport drivers.

Twenty-two patients in Yala and 23 patients in Pattani had attended religious ceremonies in Malaysia; 17 patients in Chon Buri included foreigners, visitors to pubs and returnees from Bangkok; eight in Sa Kaeo had worked in Poipet, and seven in Ubon Ratchathani had worked in Poipet and had been in contact with Muay Thai teachers from Bangkok.

“The numbers of patients in other provinces are growing faster than Bangkok… The cases in Thailand are increasing at a similar pace with Malaysia… People must cooperate with disease control measures,” Dr Taweesin said.

He said that the government was maintaining restrictions on people's movements in the four southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Phuket and Yala. Beaches were off-limits and people were ordered to stay home from 8pm to 3am in Phuket, he added.

Dr Taweesin stressed that people must try harder to reduce commuting in order to help control Covid-19. Last Saturday, the number of journeys dropped by slightly over 40% from the week before, but to effectively control the disease, a 90% reduction was necessary, he said.

Meanwhile, Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanit said many Thai people currently overseas wanted to return to the homeland, especially Thai workers in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The southern command of the Internal Security Operations Command was on Monday sealing the Thai-Malaysian border to prevent illegal immigration through natural border crossings. All south-bound train services were halted before they reached the southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, ending their journeys in Hat Yai district of Songkhla.


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