Covid cases fall Tuesday, but hotspots 'worrying'

Covid cases fall Tuesday, but hotspots 'worrying'

A taxi motorcyclist picks up a passenger on Soi Wat Sing in Chom Thong district of Bangkok on Tuesday, with a poster hung at the stand saying drivers there have been tested for Covid-19. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
A taxi motorcyclist picks up a passenger on Soi Wat Sing in Chom Thong district of Bangkok on Tuesday, with a poster hung at the stand saying drivers there have been tested for Covid-19. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The government on Tuesday recorded 171 new Covid-19 cases, raising the accumulated total in Thailand since the start of the pandemic to 12,594. No new deaths were reported, leaving the toll at 70.

Although the number of new cases was significantly lower than in recent days, authorities expressed concern over the spread of the disease in Samut Sakhon and Bangkok.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said the 171 new cases comprised 158 local transmissions and 13 quarantined arrivals.

The local transmissions included 33 new cases found among walk-ins at medical facilities and 125 through active case-finding. 

The 33 new cases confirmed at medical facilities included 18 in Samut Sakhon province and nine in Bangkok.

Among 125 cases detected through active case-finding, 120 were in Samut Sakhon -- including 106 migrant workers -- four in Bangkok and one in Nonthaburi.

The 13 new cases among quarantined arrivals came from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirate, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Of the total 12,594 cases, 9,356 (74.29%) have recovered -- including 150 discharged over the past 24 hours -- and 3,168 were receiving treatment. The death toll remained at 70.

There have been 8,357 Covid-19 cases Since Dec 15, and with the disease spreading to 61 out of Thailand’s total 77 provinces.

"Worrying"

“Fewer cases sought tests at hospitals but the more active case-finding was conducted, the more cases were found,” the  CCSA spokesman said.

The Public Health Ministry has ordered disease control workers to inspect as many as 60 factories in Samut Sakhon and test 50 people per day in each factory. There were nearly 12,000 factories in the province and health workers were speeding up Covid-19 tests there, Dr Taweesilp said.

“The outbreak in Samut Sakhon is worrying. It is difficult to conduct active case-finding there. There are many obstacles, including the number of factories… Meanwhile, factory owners and workers must cooperate. There are more than 10,000 small factories where 1-200 people are employed,” he said.

“We need to isolate infected people as soon as possible.”

The Covid-19 situation in Bangkok also raised concerns because many new cases were emerging at entertainment places on its western side adjacent to Samut Sakhon. Possibly workers from Samut Sakhon were visiting the entertainment places, Dr Taweesilp said.

He also asked people in the far South to take Covid-19 seriously because of the rapid spread of the disease in Malaysia.

100 million

Global Covid-19 cases rose by 473,750 in 24 hours to 96.00 million. The worldwide death toll was up 9,167 to 2.05 million. The US had the most cases at 24.63 million, up 142,022, and the most deaths at 408,620, up 1,422.

In a few days, the virus will have infected 100 million people worldwide – an alarming statistic, Dr Taweesilp said.

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