November 1 is fast approaching and with it a major reopening effort all across Thailand. But a few of the target Blue Zone areas that the government has focused on due to their popularity with foreign tourists are struggling, as Chiang Mai in particular has been battling a swell in Covid-19 infections.
Chiang Mai has seen their daily infection numbers jumping since the second week of October and they steadily climbed from under 200 to now in the 350 to 450 range each day. Officials attribute this jump to the uncovering of new infection clusters as the province tests residence for Covid-19 ahead of the reopening in just over a week.
Today’s Covid-19 report saw 461 new infections in the province with officials from the Provincial Communicable Disease Office saying just 5 of those infections were brought in from outside of Chiang Mai. Since the beginning of July, the total number of infections stands at 9,660, likely to surpass 10,000 in the next day or two.
A number of big clusters have been uncovered in Chiang Mai in the last few days, according to the head of the Disease Control Unit of the Provincial Public Health Office. They have infected 120 people, with 67 patients alone being infected by a cluster traced to Muang Mai market.
He fears that clusters like this will continue to be found in part because people don’t want to admit that they visited illegal nightlife venues, parties, or gambling dens, where are they get infected and then spread Covid-19 among their family and community.
On the plus side, Chiang Mai has 74% of its population vaccinated, over 934,000 people. Almost 300,000 of those vaccinated are vulnerable, either over 60 or with underlying health conditions. And health officials report that the majority of new infections have been categorised in the green group, designated for those who are asymptomatic or experience only very mild symptoms.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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