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Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

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• The nationwide Emergency Decree has been extended until the end of February.

The decree gives the Thai government the ability to set policies and procedures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 such as restricting travel and setting up road checkpoints. The emergency decree was first declared in April last year and has been extended, month by month, ever since.

365 new Covid-19 cases and 1 additional death have been announced today during the CCSA daily briefing. There are now 4,847 active Covid infections in Thailand. 

A total of 9,331 Covid-19 cases have been reported since the start of the outbreak, more than 100% rise in infections over the past 2 weeks alone.

The latest coronavirus-related fatality is a 63 year old man who drove migrant workers to and from work in Samut Sakhon. He was admitted to the hospital on December 27 and died yesterday due to multiple organ failure. There was no report of underlying conditions.

Locally, Chon Buri had the most new cases, followed by Samut Prakan, Chanthaburi and Bangkok.

In addition to the 365 new infections reported today, there has also been an announcement of 900 more Covid-19 cases detected in Samut Sakhon. 

Officials are looking to turn some of the factories in the area into quarantine facilities and field hospitals.

There’s now been 2,296 Covid-19 infections recorded in the province, just southwest of Bangkok, the hotspot in the latest outbreak that kicked off on December 20.

The vast majority of patients are Burmese migrants working at various seafood processing factories throughout the province.

  And included in today’s announcements are additional restrictions on people travelling out of red zone provinces, that includes Bangkok. One of the requirements will be a tracking app that will have to be installed on the traveller’s phones. No further details have been announced at this stage.

There’s also been some additional restrictions put on British citizens who are currently, or will be staying, at ASQ hotels for their mandatory quarantine period. The restrictions limit the occupant’s access to outside areas, including rooftops, during their ASQ stay.

Details on all these latest limitations and rules are available at thethaiger.com

Beyond Samut Sakhon, illegal gambling has become the current focus as health officials try to track down elusive gamblers after the Covid-19 outbreak in Rayong province 10 days ago.

Officials say that compulsive gamblers tend to frequent various venues and also travel in groups. 

Police are focussing their attention on the numerous gambling hubs around Bangkok… gambling dens that apparently don’t exist, according to the Deputy PM, Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday.

Over 10,000 schools, in at least the 28 ‘red zone’ Thai provinces, are to close until the end of this month and switch to online learning.

Additionally, on the southern resort island of Phuket, the Governor has ordered all schools to close from tomorrow until January 20 as a preventative measure. The order has caused some confusion (and a bit of panic) among islanders, given that the same governor confirmed the island’s 3 Covid patients had recovered and were being discharged from hospital. 

Phuketians have voiced their concerns over the number of out-of-province visitors to the island during the recent New Year holiday.

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