New Covid cases dip below 14,000 but 'could reach 30,000'

New Covid cases dip below 14,000 but 'could reach 30,000'

Food vendors return to streets in Bangkok's Yaowarat area after the government eased restriction measures in Bangkok. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Food vendors return to streets in Bangkok's Yaowarat area after the government eased restriction measures in Bangkok. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Thailand logged 13,988 new Covid-19 cases and 187 more fatalities during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry announced on Monday morning.

There were 13,544 cases in the general population and 444 among prison inmates.

On Sunday, 17,284 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the coronavirus.

In its afternoon briefing, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) warned of a new infection surge next month if people lower their guard due to eased restrictions and complacency due to the declining number of new cases.

"New cases could reach 30,000 a day next month"  if people relax social distancing and other measures, CCSA Taweesilp Visanuyothin told a briefing following discussions with the Public Health Ministry

People have returned to shopping malls and restaurants since last Wednesday, when some restrictions were eased by the government. The number of new cases has continued to drop in recent days and the ministry credited it to the partial lockdown.

"We have been seeing its benefits for two weeks," Dr Taweesilp said, referring to the declining number of new cases. 

The CCSA will evaluate the effects of the relaxed restrictions on Friday or early next week.

The spokesman said Bangkok still led the number of new cases and fatalities at 3,660 and 24 respectively. Its five neighbouring provinces of Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi reported 53 deaths.

All the imported cases found Sunday were Thais -- 16 returning from Cambodia and one from the United States. 

Since April 1, when the third wave of Covid-19 began, Thailand has treated 1,265,659 Covid-19 patients, 1,105,432 of whom have recovered to date.

Since the pandemic started early last year, there have been 1,294,522 Covid-19 cases, with 1,133,077 complete recoveries so far.

The death toll stood at 12,948 during the third wave and 13,042 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The kingdom’s all-time 24-hour high of Covid-19 fatalities was 312 recorded on Aug 18. The highest number of cases was 23,418 on Aug 13.

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