Thailand bans meetings as COVID cases and deaths hit new record | Coronavirus pandemic news


New infections cross the 10,000 mark, while the country’s health authorities reported 141 new deaths.

Thailand has imposed a national ban on public meetings and is considering further restrictions on the movement authorities on Saturday reported a record number of new coronavirus cases and deaths, despite partial closures in Bangkok and nine more provinces this week.

The country’s COVID-19 working group reported 10,082 new coronavirus cases and 141 new deaths, bringing the total number of infections to 391,989 cases and 3,240 fatalities since the pandemic began.

Last Thursday, authorities were quoted as saying that the Delta variant now accounts for almost 80% of the country’s case load.

A ban on public meetings has been imposed, with a maximum sentence of two years in prison or a fine of up to 40,000 Thai baht ($ 1,219.88) or both, according to an announcement in the official Royal Gazette published in late Friday.

On Saturday, the Bangkok Post reported that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the military and police to assist capital officials in deploying 200 teams that would conduct door-to-door testing for the worst. . hit parts of the city.

The move aims to “find and isolate infected people to curb growing transmissions,” The Post reported.

On Friday, Prayuth said the government is considering further restrictions as the country fights its worst coronavirus outbreak to date, fueled by highly transmissible alpha and Delta COVID-19 variants since early April.

“Measures need to be expanded to minimize people’s movements and close more facilities leaving only the essentials,” Prayuth wrote on his official Facebook page.

Areas considered high-risk in Thailand have been subject to the most severe restrictions in more than a year since Monday, with traffic brakes and meetings, mall closures and some business and curfews between 9 p.m. 4.00 hours.

“Tourist bubble”

Prayuth himself has been in solitary confinement for almost two weeks after coming into contact with a positive case during a visit to Phuket to launch a tourism program for foreigners.

Despite the new blockade and nationwide increase of COVID-19, there were three more Thai islands open to vaccinated foreign tourists in the country.

The islands – Samui, Tao and Phangan – welcomed visitors on Thursday as part of the kingdom’s drive to revive its battered tourism industry.

Thailand launched its “sandbox” plan on July 1, allowing vaccinated travelers to visit the island of Phuket. Tourists do not have to quarantine in a hotel, but cannot leave Phuket for two weeks.

Prime Minister Prayuth self-isolated for nearly two weeks after coming into contact with a positive case during a visit to Phuket to launch a tourism program for foreigners. [File: Thai Government Handout Photo via Reuters]

Under the extension of the new tourism plan, visitors must stay in an authorized hotel in Samui for a week and can leave their accommodation on the fourth day.

They will have to produce a negative test of COVID-19 before they are allowed to venture to Tao or Phangan after the first week.

Since the opening of the island of Phuket, it has received at least 5,000 foreign tourists, 10 of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.

Authorities do not expect a large influx immediately into Samui and the other two islands.

The president of the Koh Samui Tourism Association, Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, described the “Samui Plus” scheme as a smooth opening.

He said 75% of residents on the three islands were vaccinated.

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