The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration recorded 2,331 new cases and 40 coronavirus-related deaths, an update in fatalities over the past week. The recent and most severe wave of the virus in Thailand, infecting 175,732 people since April 1, is on a downward track with the number of active cases getting lower each day as the daily recovery count continues to exceed the daily new case count.
Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 204,595 confirmed Covid-19 infections and 1,525 virus-related deaths. The daily case count remains high in Bangkok, the epicentre of infections, and surrounding provinces while 55 provinces reported less than 10 new infections today.
In Bangkok, 807 new cases were reported today. In the provinces surrounding the capital, 161 cases were reported in Samut Prakan, 161 in Samut Sakhon, and 204 in Nonthaburi.
Most of the new cases are found in factories and markets. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the daily CCSA report in English, says around 27 provinces have reported Covid-19 clusters at factories.
In Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok, Covid-19 outbreaks were reported today at frozen food processing factories. Authorities have been using the so-called “bubble and seal” method to contain outbreaks at factories, many that employ migrant workers at a low wage. Under the controversial method, workers must stay at the factory for nearly a month, even if they are not infected, to keep the virus from spreading outside the factory.
The recent wave of the virus has also spread to many of Thailand’s overcrowded prisons, infecting more than 30,000 inmates. Of the new cases reported today, 26 were found in correctional facilities, a significant decrease in daily infections over the past few weeks.
Natapanu also noted that Thai authorities are preparing for the Phuket Sandbox, set to start on July 1. Under the travel scheme, vaccinated foreign tourists will be able to enter the island province without going through a 14-day quarantine. An emergency and contingency plan is in the works, Natapanu says. Those who wish to travel to Phuket under the scheme must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and must present vaccine certificates when applying for a Certificate of Entry, a requirement to enter Thailand.
“Of course this is a pilot project and after Phuket, there will be other provinces which will follow suit, which will welcome foreign tourists.”
6.8 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered since February 28. Since the start of Thailand’s mass immunisation campaign on June 7, 2.6 million doses have been administered. The CCSA has said there is a shortage of vaccine doses and no deliveries are expected this week, but they are still on track to reach the target of 6 million doses this month.
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