Infections grow in Thailand with 121 new coronavirus cases

BANGKOK • Thailand confirmed 121 new infections of the coronavirus, a senior official said yesterday, up from the 103 cases reported earlier in the day.

Mr Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the country’s Covid-19 pandemic task force, said at a briefing that the new cases include 94 domestic transmissions and 18 migrant workers connected to an outbreak at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon, a province southwest of Bangkok.

Infections connected to this cluster have spread to 38 provinces.

Thirty-six local infections were in Rayong province, linked to a gambling den, the spokesman said.

“The numbers reflect a heavier (outbreak), but we have more knowledge and capacity,” he said, adding that the authorities are ready to handle the increased numbers.

Eight new cases were found in state quarantine facilities, and one infection was a person arriving from abroad who did not enter quarantine.

Thailand has reported a total of 6,141 cases and 60 deaths.

Meanwhile, the Thai authorities last Friday ordered a famous Chinese Buddhist temple located in Nonthaburi province’s Bangbuathong district to be closed temporarily from that day until Jan 8.

“Officials will use the temple’s premises as a quarantine location for persons suspected of contracting Covid-19 but have yet to show symptoms,” Nonthaburi provincial officials said on Facebook, referring to Wat Boromracha Kanchanapisek Anusorn, also known as Wat Leng Noei Yi 2 temple.

Two new Covid-19 cases have been recently reported in Nonthaburi – both are female Myanmar nationals who work at the temple.

After the cases were detected, 113 monks and staff of the temple were quarantined within the temple. Health officials are tracing their travel history and testing people who might have had close contact with the patients.

Separately, the Australian authorities extended a lockdown for Sydney’s Northern Beaches until at least Wednesday and urged the rest of the city to avoid crowds as a cluster of Covid-19 infections continues to grow. Nine new cases were recorded overnight, taking the cluster’s total to 116.

Health officials remain concerned that the virus had spread across the city in the days leading to Christmas, and have urged Sydneysiders to limit their activities in the coming days and avoid Boxing Day shopping sales in the Central Business District (CBD).

“There are still concerns about the CBD and still concerns about people in the Northern Beaches who may unintentionally have spread the virus,” New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters last Saturday.



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