Thailand sees record new infections ahead of major festival




The Associated Press

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Thailand reported 985 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest daily increase since the pandemic began, and health officials said they are concerned that the number of new infections will be far higher after this week’s traditional Thai New could be year vacation.

health experts said the third big surge in the country was more difficult to control as it was largely a variant of the UK debut virus and mostly affected younger people as it broke out in nightclubs and bars.

“The third wave is different. The origin is the young generation who have an active lifestyle. They went to clubs, returned to their hometowns on very long vacations, and caused widespread prevalence, ”said Dr.Tawee Chotpitayasunondh, a senior advisor to the Ministry of Health.

million Thais travel across the country - often from urban areas to rural villages - for this week’s annual Songkran festival, which marks the traditional Thai New Year. The government has not stopped people from traveling, as it did when the festival was canceled last year.

The current boom, which has infected at least one cabinet minister and forced a number of others to self-quarantine, intensifies criticism of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government and its handling of the pandemic. While Thailand has seen just 33,610 infections and 97 deaths, critics saythat the vaccination campaign is too slow - less than 1% of the population has received its bumps - and the lack of support for people whose livelihoods were wiped out by the pandemic.

So far, Thailand has been using a relatively small supply of vaccines against Sinovac and AstraZeneca until a local facility can begin manufacturing and distributing the vaccine against AstraZeneca in the middle of the year. Even then, Thailand has ordered enough cans for about half of the 60 million people who live here, and there is still no clear timetable for the general public.

The Director General of the Disease Control Department, Dr. Grandpa’s Karnkawinpong said the numbers after the Songkran holiday would determine the direction of the recent surge in Thailand.

“The trend is continuing upwards. We have to look at the numbers by Songkran, ”said Grandpa.

To stop the spread, 37 or 73 Thai provinces have made their own decisions and put travel restrictions in place. This included mandatory 14-day quarantines, virus tests and even entry bans for non-residents.

Such a daily increase in new infections is rare in Thailand, where the coronavirus pandemic has been weathered far better than in many other countries through measures such as strict border controls that have decimated the country’s lucrative tourism industry. Thailand has also experimented with everything from curfews and alcohol bans to closing schools, shopping malls and restaurants at times.

Patrick Quinn


The current outbreak is the largestthat the country has seen since an outbreak in December. The focus was on a fresh food market that employs a number of migrant workers from Myanmar. This time around, however, the outbreak has been attributed to a number of bars and nightlife venues in the heart of Bangkok, including many popular with the rich and powerful. The Seattle Times does not add comment threads on stories from news outlets such as the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post or Bloomberg News. Rather, we focus on discussions among our own employees about local stories. You can find more information about our.