Thailand logs 2 deaths, 187 new Covid cases Monday

Thailand logs 2 deaths, 187 new Covid cases Monday

FILE PHOTO: Medical officials collect a nose swab sample to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon, after some cases of local infections were detected and linked to a vendor at the market, Dec 19, 2020. (AFP)
FILE PHOTO: Medical officials collect a nose swab sample to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon, after some cases of local infections were detected and linked to a vendor at the market, Dec 19, 2020. (AFP)

The government recorded 187 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic a year ago to 13,687. Two additional deaths were reported, raising the accumulated toll to 75.

The 187 new cases comprised 116 found through active searching, 61 local transmissions found in hospitals and clinics, and 10 people who recently entered the country from abroad.

Deputy Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokeswoman Apisamai Srisangson said one of the two new deaths was of a British man, 61, who arrived in Bangkok on Dec 25 and tested positive on Dec 29. His condition had gone downhill since then, but he refused to use a respirator until his death on Sunday.

The other fatality was a Thai woman, 56, who died on Thursday in Samut Sakhon.

Although she had mostly stayed at home, her husband worked with people transporting fish in the province. Doctors suspected she had Covid-19 and after her death on Sunday a test confirmed it. 

Hundreds more expected

Thirty-five of the 187 new cases reported by the centre on Monday appeared in Samut Sakhom, followed by 20 cases in Bangkok, three in Samut Songkhram, two in Samut Prakan and one in Rayong.

Samut Sakhon is the main target for health personnel conducting comprehensive active testing in factories, dormitories and markets this week. As many as 10,000 people are expected to be tested each day.

Dr Apisamai warned that as many as 800 new infections could be found on Monday afternoon or in the coming days as mass testing in the province nets new cases, but said there was no need to panic.

"As active finding will be conducted on 10,000 people each day, we could find hundreds of new cases," she said.

Samut Sakhon has 1,000 beds in field hospitals to receive new infections and the number of available beds will double by the end of this week, she said.

Suspected superspreader

The deputy spokeswoman said some of the new cases in Bangkok were traced back to a New Year party in Chiang Mai held between Jan 1-5.

The CCSA said a man who attended the party in the northern province was "possibly a superspreader". He then travelled to Bangkok and attended the birthday party of Techin "DJ Matoom" Ploypetch on Jan 9 at the Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok.

The celebrity DJ and actor was later infected with the virus.

People in direct or indirect contact with the infected inter-provincial partygoer are thought to have further spread the virus at another birthday party on Jan 16.

"One infected person could be a superspreader," she said.

The 10 new imported cases included five Thais and one Briton who flew in from the United Kingdom. One Thai arrived from Malysia, while one Russian, one Bahraini and one German national flew in from their own countries.

Of the 13,687 coronavirus cases confirmed in Thailand since the pandemic began a year ago, one-third -- 9,450 – have erupted since the new wave started in mid-December.

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