Virus hot spots told to keep their guard up
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Virus hot spots told to keep their guard up

Less mask-wearing in capital a concern

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has warned three provinces to maintain stringent Covid-19 measures in light of new clusters of cases.

At Government House on Friday, assistant CCSA spokesperson Panprapa Yongtrakul said: "Clusters of new cases are still being found in Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani and Tak.

"People in these areas are advised to pay extra attention to protecting themselves by wearing face masks, washing hands frequently and maintaining social distancing."

Speaking with reference to the infected Miss Grand International 2020 contestants, the deputy spokesperson said the two contestants -- one from Kenya and the other Nigeria -- were receiving treatment and urged people not to be concerned.

The two beauty queens tested positive on March 3-4 while staying in mandatory quarantine. Miss Grand International 2020 will take place on March 27 at Show DC in Bangkok.

The CCSA on Friday reported 79 new confirmed cases in Thailand, bringing the tally to 26,241 with 85 deaths.

Samut Sakhon province, the epicentre of the second Covid-19 wave, logged 50 new cases, or 77% of the daily increment. Of these, 38 were detected in communities (30 Myanmar people and eight Thais) and 12 were confirmed at hospitals (seven Myanmar and five Thai).

Pathum Thani saw eight new -- cases three in hospitals (two Thai and one Myanmar) and five in communities (three Myanmar and two Thai).

Bangkok recorded six new cases in hospitals (three Thai and three Myanmar people) and Chon Buri detected an infection in a Chinese man at a hospital.

In a related story, Prof Thanaruk Theeramunkong from the Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT) said people in Bangkok have been wearing face masks less and less over the past two weeks. The number of people who did not wear a face mask or wore it incorrectly stood at 3.97% of the sample.

The mask-wearing statistics were compiled by an AI system called AiMASK developed by the SIIT, the Artificial Intelligence Association of Thailand and the Super AI Engineer project.

AiMASK surveyed mask-wearing behaviour in 30 districts in Bangkok. It found that Yannawa is the district with the highest number of people not wearing a face mask or wearing it incorrectly at 19.32%.

The number of face mask wearers fell below 95% in 11 districts -- the highest number since AiMask was introduced.

Although the number of face mask wearers was still high at 96% across the 30 districts, data suggested that people are becoming complacent, especially on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and long weekends, the academic said.

AiMask also found that people are less likely to wear a face mask in the afternoon than in the morning.

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